Sunderland podcaster Philip West has given his verdict on some early team news for this weekend involving Aji Alese.
The Lowdown: At least three weeks out
Speaking to the media ahead of their game against Burnley in the Championship at the Stadium of Light on Saturday afternoon, Tony Mowbray has confirmed that Alese is out for the next three or four weeks with injury in a ‘best case scenario’.
This comes after he left Ewood Park with a protective boot on his foot after being on the end of a heavy challenge in their 2-0 loss away at Blackburn Rovers last time out.
After having his scan, Mowbray suggested that Alese will now use the weeks leading up to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar to get himself fit, so is likely to be out of action until the tournament finishes.
The Latest: West stunned
Taking to Twitter, Roker Report’s West gave his instant reaction to the news on Alese, claiming that it is a ‘huge blow’, adding that it is now a ‘big test’ for the Wearsiders’ defence to play without him:
“Huge blow to lose Aji Alese. He’s been nothing short of immense in recent weeks, and he was getting better game by game. Big test for our defence without him.”
The Verdict: Massive miss
Alese will no doubt be a massive miss for the team, given that he had started the last seven matches in the Championship, including against Blackburn.
He has played in three different positions already for the Black Cats, and his versatility has been so key for Mowbray when other players have been unavailable.
Nonetheless, Alese’s recent performances have been very impressive, deservedly winning praise by the media, and so it will be more difficult for Mowbray’s side to get a positive result against Burnley without him.