Jack Ross has stated he sees no rush to get Bali Mumba back into the Sunderland first-team, as reported by The Northern Echo.
The Black Cats manager has insisted that he is happy with the 17-year-old’s progression, but feels that a spell in the U23s will benefit his development, with there already being various options for the first-team.
The versatile teenager, who can play in holding midfield or at right-back, is currently away with England U19s for their games against Greece and Germany.
Mumba made eight appearances for Sunderland’s first-team last season, playing the full 90 minutes in three of them, as per Transfermarkt.
Three of those matches he played in were the first of the league campaign, as Ross’ side picked up two wins and drew once, while he also played for the entirety of the 4-0 victory over Newcastle United U23s in the EFL Trophy.
However, he hasn’t featured in the league since November 2018 and even then he was only on for two minutes against Plymouth Argyle.
He has played five Premier League 2 games this campaign, in which he has featured at right-back in all of them.
It is smart that Ross isn’t rushing Mumba into the first-team, as getting regular games is more important for him at 17-years-old, especially as it seems uncertain where his best position is at this point.
However, it would be good to see him feature in the club’s first-team plans sporadically to maintain his taste for it and build up a sense of familiarity.
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