DANNY Rose does not know what the future holds for him – but he is determined he will not spend next season as a substitute.
Although the on-loan left-back wisely stopped short of saying so, it strongly suggests he will not return to parent club Tottenham Hotspur at the end of his season-long loan at Sunderland.
The 22-year-old has been one of the revelations of the Black Cats’ season, and made more Premier League appearances for them than in six years at White Hart Lane.
His substitute appearance at Reading was his only one for Sunderland, whereas half his 16 Spurs outings came from the bench.
“I honestly do not know what will happen next season,” Rose said yesterday. “I do love Tottenham, they have done a lot for me over the years, I will be forever grateful for the stage I am at now. It’s hugely down to them.
“But I am not prepared to go back to sit on the bench and watch other people play football. I’ve done that enough.
“I’ve got friends progressing into the England team and being in the squads. I’d like to think one day I’ll have a shot at doing that.
“I’ll only get that when I’m playing week-in, week-out, and I’m doing that here. I’m enjoying it here and I love being back up north.
“Nothing has been discussed with the management here or the management there about what’s going to happen next season.
“I want to reiterate I will not be looking to sit on somebody else’s bench again.”
It is very hard to see Rose doing anything else at Tottenham.
Benoit Assou-Ekotto is their first-choice left-back, and one of the division’s best. He missed a large part of the season with a knee
injury, but Kyle Naughton and the versatile Jan Vertonghen proved very capable deputies, and January signing Ezekiel Fryers plays there too.
If Spurs put Rose up for sale, Sunderland would be strong favourites to sign him. Only an unrealistic asking price would deter them, as when they tried to make Alan Hutton’s loan from Spurs permanent in 2010.
Closer to his parents in Doncaster and adored by the fans, Sunderland would be Rose’s preference if he felt he would not get the opportunities he wants at Spurs.
“I have loved every single minute of being here,” he said. “I don’t want to dwell too much on next season because I don’t know what will happen.
“If I do go back to Tottenham it would be a shame not to get this sort of experience I have been getting here.” Rose returned from a hamstring injury as a half-time substitute on Saturday, but a 2-1 defeat spoiled it.
“In terms of my injury, that was frustrating because I was playing some good football at the start of January,” he reflected. “I was just gutted I got injured. Now I just want to get back into the team and carry on my good form.
“It was a bit of a rubbish result on Saturday. The gaffer was a bit upset with the way we conceded a poor goal (Jimmy Kébé’s winner). We’ve been defending set-pieces well all season so we didn’t want to lose a goal like that. It would have been a good point and we did have some good chances in the last 15, 20 minutes to win the game, so he said if we weren’t going to win the game we should have done everything we could to not lose.
“We watch videos either on Saturday morning or on the Friday night before every game. He (manager Martin O’Neill) is quite strict on how we defend set-pieces. We have got a good record at them.
“I don’t know who was meant to be picking up Kébé, but it was a great delivery. Someone lost their man and he has managed to score.”