Sunderland boss explains why striking role is perfect for new signing

Kazenga LuaLua.
Kazenga LuaLua.
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Chris Coleman believes Kazenga LuaLua can add another dimension to Sunderland’s attack after a promising cameo against Birmingham City.

Coleman saw LuaLua as the ‘one positive’ from Tuesday’s 3-1 defeat and, while the 27-year-old is still searching for match fitness, Coleman believes his ‘blistering pace’ can make the difference for the Black Cats.

The former Brighton man has spent most of his career playing in the wide areas, but the Black Cats boss believes he can free him up by playing him alongside another striker.

Coleman said: “People look at LuaLua as a winger, but I see him playing through the middle.

“We have wingers in the squad, with Aiden McGeady and Callum McManaman, if we decide to go down that route.

“He’s got that 10 yards where his blistering pace and power comes in, and he has an incredible shot on him.

“But we have to get him up that end of the pitch, hence why we want him through the middle really.

“Sometimes when you play players like that out wide, because they have defensive duties to carry out, you lose a bit of what they offer going forward.

“If we’re going to play with three centre-backs, I want to play two strikers and he will be one of them.

“Let’s get him up that end of the pitch, into the penalty box, and make things happen. We need to get him up to match tempo and he will do that by getting more minutes on the pitch.”

Coleman also signed striker Ashley Fletcher on loan from Middlesbrough and the 22-year-old could make his full debut against Ipswich this afternoon.

Fellow deadline-day signings Ovie Ejaria and Lee Camp are also expected to start.