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How can Jewison Bennette reignite his Sunderland career?

The Costa Rican has become something of a forgotten man at the Stadium of Light, so what needs to happen in order for him to get back into the first team picture?

Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Kelvin Beattie says…

It’s a perplexing situation, because he’s shown glimpses of his potential and is clearly rated as a talent-in-waiting.

I understand that he’s been struggling personally and his lack of game time, allied to his brief but successful cameos at Watford and against Southampton, may play a part in exacerbating his situation.

I can see the benefits of a carefully chosen loan period. Most footballers aren’t happy unless they’re playing and football is a universal language, so the more he plays, the more he’s empowered and will speak.

That said, I wonder if things were to change regarding Jack Clarke, might there be more openings for him at Sunderland and in front of a crowd who appear to be very well disposed toward him?

It’s hard to say at this point exactly what might be best for him, but I’d trust our backroom team to make the best decision for him and the club and I hope to see him out on the park in our colours, strutting his stuff.

Sunderland v RCD Mallorca - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Martin Swinney/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images,

Malc Dugdale says...

Bennette needs to go out on loan and if it doesn’t happen in this window, the club has let him down, in my view.

He’s had injury issues but he should’ve featured more than he has if we intend to help him grow. Unless he’s about to be played more regularly, his development has stagnated in the youth teams.

He did enough in his early showings to demonstrate that he’s already past the level of U21 football, and he’s also shown us he’s a rough diamond to be developed, but unless he plays a good twenty five-plus games a season, he won’t develop at a rate which will help him or the club.

We never should’ve sold the likes of Bali Mumba, but his journey is a good example of loan spells helping a player improve his craft.

He left us and went to Norwich City but he also had successful loan spells at Peterborough and Plymouth. I know fans of both teams who were very impressed with him, and Plymouth clearly were as they signed him permanently last year, and he’s since played over twenty five games for them.

Norwich were willing to buy Mumba and loan him if they couldn’t play him, and he’s now established in a Championship team, and is getting plaudits and game time.

Whether Bennette is a future Sunderland player or not, he’ll become a better footballer by playing football.

Let’s get the lad out on loan and see what he can do, because we’re currently learning nothing about him, and he isn’t learning about football or himself either.

Paddy Hayes says...

It’s been a learning curve for the touted ‘wonder kid’ from Costa Rica.

From making a lightning fast start with a late equaliser at Watford last season to pirouetting his way past Southampton earlier in the 2023/2024 campaign, the nineteen-year-old has occasionally demonstrated the potential seen in him by Kristjaan Speakman and company.

Unfortunately, he plays in a position we’re already pretty stacked in and more pertinently, where our best player of 2023/2024 currently plays.

His stints up front have also been lacklustre, so playing him out of position, even with our misfiring strikers, is far from preferable.

While his time on Wearside has been hampered by both injuries and lack of opportunity, sending him out on loan this month would be a shrewd move, especially if we hold onto Jack Clarke.

I can’t foresee much changing under Michael Beale as far as Bennette is concerned, and it would only be to the detriment of his development and our investment if we kept him wasting away in the U23 team or on the bench.

Playing for a mid-table or promotion-chasing League One side would not only provide the player with game time, but would further his comprehension of the arduous physical and psychological demands of the Football League, which would hopefully instil confidence in Bennette upon his return.

This would also serve as a bit of a litmus test for the player and for us, as we’d be able to assess his true potential and gauge further whether he has what it takes to make his time at Sunderland a success.

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