February 24, 2024

Cardiff City's Manolis Siopis challenges Sunderland's Abdoullah Ba during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sunderland and Cardiff City at the Stadium Of Light, Sunderland on Sunday 24th September 2023. (Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Sunderland have been told they can’t ‘give up’ on one of their out-of-form attackers.

Considering how well Sunderland played and scored so many brilliant goals the previous season, it is disappointing to watch them struggle so much in front of goal this time around.

With 12 goals in 26 Championship appearances, Jack Clarke is a winger that the Black Cats are greatly depending on this season.

Although players all over the field have contributed thus far, Sunderland’s assault as a whole has only mustered three goals: two from Abdullah Ba and one from Nazariy Rusyn.

After scoring twice in five games the previous season, the Frenchman appeared to be headed for a successful year; however, since then, everything has only seemed to get worse.

Abdoullah Ba strike stops the rot to keep Sunderland's dream alive

Ba has started four of the last eight games, earning himself increased playing time under both Michael Beale and Mike Dodds.

Fans have become unhappy with the 20-year-old’s consistent inclusion in the squad, calling Ba “woeful” and “especially awful” in the last month or so.

After a Sunderland fan took to X (formerly Twitter) to criticise the ‘constant slander’ of Ba, journalist Michael Graham leaped to his defence.

He wrote: “Ba is a really talented player. Frustrating as hell, but really talented. He’s like a child who drives you mad: infuriating but you don’t give up on them.”

What to do with Abdoullah Ba?

Abdoullah Ba has shown glimpses of talent since joining from Le Havre in 2022, but he has always looked extremely raw and far from the standard required in the Championship.

I also think he has always looked so much better when pushed into the middle, as he seems completely lost and unsure of himself when out wide.

I can’t believe Michael Beale wants him in a match and honestly believes he is good enough, even if there is undoubtedly some promise there and he must be seeing something in training.

Ba is only need to play because our attacking group lacks depth. I would not object if the France U19 international was loaned to League One if we introduced some more inventive options.

Jewison Bennette, who has only played one minute of Championship football this season, is comparable.

It almost seems like we shouldn’t have signed so many young guys who weren’t prepared to compete for a spot in the starting lineup. Funny that.

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