Burnley defender Jimmy Dunne set for another spell on loan?

Burnley's Jimmy Dunne with striker Dan Agyei
Burnley's Jimmy Dunne with striker Dan Agyei
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Jimmy Dunne could be about to reap the benefits of the loan system once again as Sunderland close in on the Clarets centre back.

The 21-year-old, who has most recently played 12 times for Hearts in the Scottish Premier League, as well as featuring in the semi-final of the Scottish League Cup against Celtic at Murrayfield, looks set to join the Machems' promotion race in League One.

The defender, who earned his first call up to the Republic of Ireland squad last year, is sandwiched in the hinterland between the under 23s and the senior side at Turf Moor and he appreciates that another temporary move is the best way to enhance his development.

"I think that is the route," he said. "Once you get to the stage where the U23s can’t really do too much more for you and you are not getting into the first team at your club then that is the decision you have to make.

"I made that decision and it was definitely the best thing I did because I have played loads of men’s football now and it feels very different to coming back and playing in Under-23 games.

"It was a really significant part of my development. I definitely made the right career choice to go there [Tynecastle] and play.

"I got a lot of good coaching and got loads of big games in so it will stand me in good stead for the future. I want to thank Hearts a lot for what they have done for me."

He added: "If you can break through then amazing and Dwight [McNeil] has shown that players can do that and they can step in there and do well but if it doesn’t happen that way for you then you need to find another route to try and get your way to the top.

"I just need to keep trying to find a way to get to the highest level possible. I have had a couple of loans where I am progressively moving up the levels slowly but surely.

"I need to keep doing that and if it is not going to happen here then I need to go elsewhere and get the games in again."