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Allardyce hoping Sunderland youngster Watmore has same football smarts as academics

Sam Allardyce believes that Sunderland youngster Duncan Watmore may just have a footballing brain to match his academics.

Watmore graduated from the Newcastle University on Thursday with a first-class honours degree in economics and business management and the young attacker was handed a day off by Allardyce to attend the ceremony.

Allardyce had no problems in giving Watmore a day's grace from training but the 60-year-old hopes the Manchester-born talent is as smart on the pitch as he is off it.

Allardyce said: "It was a great pleasure to give Duncan time off for his graduation.

"If he works as hard at his football as he has had to work to get his degree, then he is going to be a top footballer. He's got a lot of ability and we will soon find out if he has a football brain – he certainly has an academic brain.

"Missing a day's training won't affect him. He's 21 so he can run all day and all night. It won't have any bearing on selection for Saturday."

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