Why Norwich City must continue their pursuit of signing Bali Mumba

According to Chronicle Live, Sunderland youngster Bali Mumba has attracted interest from Premier League strugglers Norwich City.

The report also claims that talks have been held between both the parties over the future of Mumba, who would be available for a sum of around £500,000 plus further add-ons based on his appearances.

A Sunderland academy product, the 18-year-old Mumba first signed his professional contract with the Black Cats in 2018. He is tied to the club for another 12 more months.

Sunderland teenage midfielder Bali Mumba in action.
Sunderland teenage midfielder Bali Mumba in action. (Image Credits: Twitter)

A regular within the Sunderland under-23 side, Mumba made his debut as a 16-year-old when he came off the bench as Sunderland beat Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the 2017-18 Championship season.

However, since then he has only made nine more appearances to the senior side, with his latest being in Sunderland’s 3-2 win over Grimsby Town back in October last year.

Touted as a future talent, Mumba has often been included in the first-team bench but has spent the majority of his time with Sunderland’s under-23 side. He has played in his favoured defensive midfield role and at times as a right-back.

Mumba’s lack of regular game time saw him being sent out on loan to hometown side South Shields in March. However, he soon returned to Sunderland as the football season got halted due to the coronavirus crisis.

Bali Mumba of Sunderland tries to clear the ball during a Premier League 2 match against West Brom in August last year.
Bali Mumba (left) of Sunderland tries to clear the ball during a Premier League 2 match against West Brom in August last year. (Getty Images)

Mumba could be an excellent future investment by Norwich

The Canaries, on the other hand, are close to a return to the Championship just one season after achieving promotion. They are currently at the bottom of the league standings. Daniel Farke’s side are in need of some serious reinforcements whether they stay in the top-flight or get relegated.

Hence, the side’s interest in a young and upcoming talent such as Mumba does not come as a surprise.

The Canaries currently have three defensive midfielders in their side – Alexander Tettey, Tom Trybull and Louis Thompson. Tettey remains the side’s first-choice midfielder, having featured 23 times in the Premier League this season.

However, he turned 34 in April and is not at his prime anymore. Trybull, who arrived three years ago, has never managed to establish himself and has made just 14 appearances this term. The same has been the case with Thompson too. The 25-year-old recently returned from a loan spell from League One side MK Dons and has mostly been out on loan at different clubs since arriving in 2014.

Veteran Norwich City midfielder Alexander Tettey (right) plays a pass against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League last January.
Veteran Norwich City midfielder Alexander Tettey (right) plays a pass against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League last January. (Getty Images)

Hence, it is very clear that they need a new defensive midfielder in their side. With time, Mumba could prove to be an excellent investment by the club and Norwich should definitely go ahead with their pursuit of the young talent.

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Verdict

Despite enough back-up in the defensive midfield role, Norwich have failed to put up a good show this season. Also, with main man Tettey past his thirties now, they really need a young and energetic player like Mumba on their side. Moreover, he is just 18 and has plenty of time to develop.