There was certainly an element of surprise when Sunderland youngster Bali Mumba headed out on loan to non-league side South Shields earlier this year.
Mumba has made ten appearances in total for the Sunderland first-team, but struggled for regular minutes in Phil Parkinson’s side this term, which resulted in him heading out on loan for the remainder of this year’s campaign.
The youngster played his part in South Shields’ recent win over Nantwich Town as well, as he netted his first goal for the club in a convincing 5-3 win whilst playing higher up the pitch than he did for Sunderland’s first-team in the past.
Speaking in an interview with the Sunderland Echo, Mumba is confident in his ability out on loan with South Shields, and is keen to take that back to the Stadium of Light when he reaches the conclusion of his temporary spell away from the League One side.
“With my attacking ability I can cause problems and get some goals that lead to wins.
“I’ll be going back to Sunderland with that experience of playing attacking football. I’ve been playing full-back at Sunderland and that will help me (in that position). As a full-back now, you need to have that attacking ability.”
The 18-year-old went on to talk about Liverpool full-back Trent Alexander-Arnold’s attacking style of play, and is keen to replicate that as this year’s campaign progresses, before revealing that his main position was at full-back.
“You look at players like Trent Alexander-Arnold and a lot of the other full backs, they’ve got that attacking side to their game. So I think this will help me quite a lot.”
“It’s a difficult question for me to answer but right now, the way things are going, yeah, I’d say full back (is his best position).”“I’ve got used to it a lot this season playing there for the U23s, I enjoy it. I think the attacking side of my game is getting there, but I do need to work on the defensive side, off the ball and shape.
“Once I get that, I think I’ve got the potential to be a good full-back.”
After recent events, Sunderland aren’t due to be back in competitive action until the 4th April when they are set to hose Shrewsbury Town at the Stadium of Light.
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I think he’s got what it takes to make it in the Sunderland first-team.
I wasn’t surprised to see Mumba loaned out earlier this year, but I was surprised that he didn’t head out on loan to a team in a higher division that South Shields currently are in.
He’s clearly wasted no time in adjusting to his new surroundings though, and will be hoping he can make a good impression whilst out on loan, as he finds regular game time in senior football.
He’s a player with a bright future ahead of him, that’s for sure.