The THREE Sunderland under-23 players who could join Bali Mumba and Benji Kimpioka in the first-team squad
Phil Parkinson has hinted that he will be prepared to offer Sunderland’s under-23 players a chance to shine - but who could be in line for an opportunity?
Bali Mumba and Benji Kimpioka have already been handed opportunities to form part of Parkinson’s early squads - and the Black Cats’ new manager is set to monitor the club’s crop of youngsters in the coming weeks.
“My early thoughts are that we’ll need a few of them to supplement the squad,” he said.
“We had a group of them with us today and gradually we’ll get to know them.”
So which players could be in line for an opportunity? We take a look at the three players who will be hoping to join Kimpioka and Mumba on the fringes of the first team:
The young centre back may face a tough task to break into the first team fold - with four senior defenders ahead of him in the pecking order - but his performances for the under-23 side this term could help convince Parkinson that he could do a job if required.
His first team chances have so far been limited to appearances in the EFL Trophy last season, and similar opportunities could come his way this term should the Black Cats progress in the competition.
But having matured considerably since his arrival, Bainbridge could be ready for the rough and tumble of League One football should he be required.
The cultured midfielder made a favourable impression with former manager Jack Ross - who handed him the chance to travel with the senior squad to Portugal in the summer.
Appearances on the bench have followed, and the ex-Chelsea youngster is one of those likely to be monitored by Parkinson.
Again, there are more senior options ahead of him in the first team fold, but there’s nothing to say Sammut won’t be handed a chance in cup competitions in the coming weeks.
The tricky winger went slightly under the radar when he joined from Falkirk this summer, but has quickly made an impression in the under-23 set-up.
Direct, dynamic and with pace to burn, Dunne could be a game-changing option if required.