SUNDERLAND youngster Tom Lavery has signed his first professional contract with the Black Cats. 

The 18-year-old defender has agreed terms with the club until 2026, with the option of a further year extension.  

Lavery enjoyed a breakout campaign during the 2023-24 season as he debuted for the Under-21s and also featured on the bench as part of the first-team squad.

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A versatile defender who can play at full-back or centre-half, Lavery scored on his Premier League 2 debut with a last-minute winner against Aston Villa.

He also claimed an assist in an FA Youth Cup fixture at the Stadium of Light, with his performances in the youth ranks earning him a call-up to Mike Dodds’ senior matchday squad. 

Sunderland academy manager, Robin Nicholls, said: “Tom and his family have been with the academy for several years now and he has shown great progress during this time.

"Tom’s commitment and development was rewarded last season by being included in the first-team matchday squad on three occasions early in 2024.

"We are delighted that he sees his future here with the club and has signed a contract that ensures the next steps in his career will be with SAFC.”