According to the latest reports from the Sun as cited by Sunderland Echo, Sunderland are facing a battle to sign former Burnley striker Tinashe Chakwana as Championship outfit Barnsley are said to be keen on him. The striker had a trial with Sunderland after being released by Burnley, and the Wearside outfit were supposedly in the hunt to sign him permanently.
However, now things can change with a club from a higher division entering the race. We think that the Black Cats see the 20-year-old as an option for the u-23 side initially. If he manages to impress there, then he might have a crack in the first team.
Comparisons with Defoe
The Zimbabwean forward was once praised heavily by Burnley’s academy manager Jon Pepper. He went on to compare the attacker’s playing style to former Sunderland player Jermain Defoe. Pepper was quoted as saying (Burnley Express) in 2018, ”He’s got a lot to offer. When he’s on his game, playing up there and down the middle, he really causes problems. He plays off the shoulder, comes short, gets it into his feet, a little bit like Jermain Defoe. He can be a good finisher when he’s on it.”
Sunderland lost to Charlton Atheltic in the playoff finals last season. Quite a few would have expected the Black Cats to straightaway bounce back to the Championship, but Jack Ross and Co are set for another season in the League One. It seems clear that Sunderland are trying to improve their pool of young players as they had earlier signed Algerian goalkeeper Ahmed Abdelkader and defenders Michael Collins and Ruben Sammut for their u-23 side.
What can Chakwana bring to the table?
The striker is known for his sharp runs and movements in the final third. As mentioned by Burnley’s academy manager Pepper, Chakwana plays from the shoulder of the defenders trying to make runs between the channels. He mixes it well by coming short as well.
The Zimbabwean’s standout asset is his pace and acceleration. He might have to improve on the physical side of his game though, and that could be one of the reasons why Burnley allowed him to run down his contract. Chakwana’s finishing could also improve, but that is likely to come with more competitive games under his belt.
Can Sunderland sign him?
On a free transfer, he is worth considering. However, with Championship outfit Barnsley now coming into the frame; we feel that the forward might be tempted to play in a higher division.
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