Mick McCarthy has decided to give crowd favourite Julio Arca another chance to impress in a first-team match after looking like he was resigned to reserve team football.
Julio hasn’t been in the squad for any of the first-team matches so far this season and Sunderland’s dismal start to the season has led to calls for his return to action.
And today, McCarthy confirmed that the Argentinian will be included in the squad for this Saturday’s trip to Deepdale for the televised game with Preston North End.
Arca played at left-back in yesterday’s 1-0 reserves team win, and McCarthy said “Julio was excellent – he’s been terrific all pre-season.
“I watched him from afar and saw him as a wide left midfield player. Having sat down with him, his actual position is left-back.
“I didn’t buy him, I wasn’t involved in that process, but he played wide left for a long time – I know he did because I kept watching Sunderland as Irish manager and he was keeping Kevin Kilbane out of the team.
“But he’s played more at left-back, he’s trained at left-back and he played there on Wednesday and did well. He works very hard in the gym and looks strong.
“He’ll definitely be involved in the squad on Saturday.”