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Roker Roundtable: Could 2023/2024 be Jewison Bennette’s time to shine at Sunderland?

After a promising yet slightly frustrating debut campaign on Wearside, the Costa Rican will doubtless be keen to push on this season. How confident are we that he’ll play a bigger role for the Lads?

Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Dan Harrison says…

Bennette’s 2022/2023 season was cut short due to injury, which was a real disappointment given that he’d shown glimpses of real quality when introduced into games late on.

Although a starting role seems incredibly ambitious, should we not make any further additions to our attacking line and there are no further departures, I think a spot on the bench would be the logical next step for him.

He’s got a full pre-season to embed himself into the culture and he’s proven himself worthy of at least being a player who can come on when we’re chasing the game, to add an extra weapon to our attacking arsenal.

With Isaac Lihadji expected to fill Amad’s spot in the starting XI, Bennette would provide the explosiveness and pace required as a rotational piece for Patrick Roberts, Jack Clarke and Lihadji, taking into account the heavy fixture congestion within the EFL.

Although a loan may provide Bennette with more first team football, at his age he’s still got a lot to learn about the professional game and I think making an impact at Championship level will help to refine his raw talent going forward.

Sunderland v Luton Town - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says…

Bennette did well in the time he had on the pitch last season, but I think how successful we are in the transfer market will dictate his chances of playing time during the new campaign.

If we go out and find loan players as good as Amad, there are likely to be too many options to provide a regular slot up front for Bennette, although he has an advantage in that he knows the team and can add value quicker than any newcomers.

If we don’t manage to replace Amad, we may well have more playing time available for him, especially off the bench. There’s is also the possibility of the likes of Luis Semedo or Isaac Lihadji earn a starting berth, which could push the Costa Rican down the pecking order.

The main thing for Bennette is development, so if there’s any doubt about regular games for us, I think he should be loaned out. He’s a cracking prospect for the future so let’s give him the game time to do that.


Phil West says...

For me, it’s simple. Bennette should stay at the Stadium of Light, continue his development at Sunderland and take the opportunities that Tony Mowbray gives him, which will doubtless be plentiful during what’ll be a long and challenging season.

The last thing that needs to happen is for him to be loaned out to a League One club and spend a season being kicked from pillar to post in that hellhole of a division. That’ll do absolutely nothing for his development and it would be a slap in the face for our policy of investing in and backing young talent.

Bennette’s debut season was somewhat up and down, as a dislocated shoulder brought an end to a reasonably promising campaign during which he showed flashes of promise.

He also scored some good goals and he seemed to embrace the challenge of adapting to life at Sunderland after swapping Costa Rica for a crack at one of the Championship’s biggest clubs.

At this stage, the hope is that he’ll be firmly settled into both life at the club and on Wearside and as a result, he ought to be able to make a more telling contribution this time round.

With Amad gone, there’s an opening for a speedy and elusive forward who can both score and create goals, and I firmly believe Bennette can be that player.

Let’s show patience, have faith in Mowbray to manage him smartly, and see what he can produce. There’s a talented player in Bennette, and I see no reason why he can’t make an even bigger impact with a full pre-season under his belt!

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