Sunderland U-23 boss Elliott Dickman has confirmed that the club have turned down signing former Burnley prospect Tinashe Chakwana.
The youth manager admitted to the Sunderland Echo that the 20-year-old striker impressed on trial for the northeast club, but they turned down signing the youngster as Chakwana was too similar to options already available to Dickman in the U-23 side.
Chakwana would have been the fourth youth player to join Sunderland this summer, joining the likes of Ruben Sammut, Michael Collins and Ahmed Abdelkader this window.
Burnley Academy manager Jon Pepper once compared Chakwana to former England international Jermain Defoe (per the Zimbabwe Standard), and this high praise alone could be enough for Sunderland to regret signing the 20-year-old attacker.
As is stated in the aforementioned report, Chakwana is a natural-born goalscorer. Lightning fast and intelligent to spot the right areas of the pitch to get into and exploit, and these attributes were a contributing factor to the striker being Burnley’s U-23 top goalscorer last season (per BSS Fan Forum).
With Will Grigg failing to make much of an impact since his move to Sunderland last January after scoring four goals in 18 League One appearances for the Black Cats last season (per Transfermarkt), Chakwana could have been a different option for Sunderland to utilise heading into the new season.
Jack Ross has already shown in the past that he is willing to give exciting youth players a chance in the first-team, with former striker Josh Maja proving to be one of Sunderland’s most consistent players last year before his move to Bordeaux after scoring 16 goals in 30 appearances (per Transfermarkt) , and Chakwana could have provided something similar.
The Wigan-born Zimbabwe youth international has proven to both his former coaches and supporters of the U-23 game that he is a striker who could make the jump to senior football this season, and Sunderland might have missed a trick in not taking Chakwana on a free this summer.
Sunderland fans, will the club regret not signing Chakwana? Let us know!Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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