Chris Coleman reveals how he intends to use Kazenga LuaLua in Sunderland side
Chris Coleman intends to use new signing Kazenga LuaLua through the middle for Sunderland.
For the latest Sunderland AFC transfer news follow our live blog here:The 27-year-old former Brighton & Hove Albion wideman was signed last week on a short term deal until the end of the season after his contract was mutually ended by the Premier League side.
Ex-Newcastle United youth LuaLua has played most of his career out wide but Coleman plans to use the pacy forward through the middle.
He is not fit to start against Birmingham City on Tuesday night having not played since November but will be in the squad that travels to the Midlands for the bottom-of-the-table Championship clash.
Coleman said: "Kazenga isn’t ready to start but he ticks the boxes for me in what I want from players coming here, as he’s hungry, wants to prove himself and he wants to be here.
"He’s an explosive player.
"I know I see people looking at it are saying, 'we have Callum McManaman, we have Aiden McGeady, we’ve got wingers', but really I want him to play down the middle for us in a two.
"That’s how I see him and maybe he will have to do a job out wide if we don’t go with wing-backs, but I’ve really brought him here to play in a two down the middle as a nine or a ten because of his pace.
"We need that pace in behind and Josh and Joel need some support as they’re good but they’re young, so along with Kaz we really need one more up there in the middle."
* Keep up with all the top football news and transfer gossip from England, Scotland and beyond with footballwire.co.ukMeanwhile, defender Lamine Kone is also expected to be part of the travelling squad after making his return from an ankle injury with a run-out for the Under-23s last week though Jonny Williams won’t feature against Birmingham.
The trip to St Andrew's will come too soon for the Welshman who completed 80 minutes in yesterday’s under-23 defeat to Arsenal.
Coleman added: "Jonny had 80 minutes yesterday in the Under-23s and Lamine had 60 minutes last week.
"They both came through it okay, a bit rusty, but you’d expect that after two or three months out, and both players are fine.
"Tomorrow is a little bit early for both but Lamine will be in and around the squad.
"I think Jonny probably needs another 60 or 90 minutes before we can say we can consider him to be on the bench for us."