Sunderland: Ateef Konate can be Simms 2.0

Sunderland have enjoyed a fine return season in the Championship, despite the early-season managerial upheaval that saw Tony Mowbray employed as the new boss.

The 59-year-old was sent in with just a month of the summer window remaining, and as such was unable to truly have a huge impact on any dealings that went on.

Fortunately, however, the exploits of Kristjaan Speakman had already bolstered a squad that could only earn promotion through the League One play-offs last year.

One of the most outstanding pieces of business from the sporting director was to acquire Ellis Simms on loan from Everton, with the 22-year-old going on to excel at the Stadium of Light.

He would score seven times in just 17 games, in a campaign that was also blighted by injury.

However, given the financial constraints of his parent club, he was forced to be recalled as they sought out added depth.

This was a hammer blow to supporters on Wearside, but could be quickly forgotten should Speakman secure a similar deal by looking towards a different Premier League club for some temporary reinforcements.

With Alan Nixon noting their interest in Ateef Konate of Nottingham Forest yesterday, the clinical attacking midfielder could more than make up for this goalscoring vacancy enforced upon them by the Toffees.

Despite struggling for senior minutes this season, the 21-year-old has been on a mission to prove himself as far above his current station.

He has done this by scoring eight times and assisting once across just eight Premier League 2 matches. Such is his pedigree at such a young age, he was even handed his senior debut last season by Steve Cooper in the Championship.

Should Sunderland take a chance on Konate?





Despite clearly being a cut above his current league, it seems that the Forest manager is unwilling to unleash the Frenchman given the precarious nature of the first team’s campaign. He is instead opting to make even more transfers, which sees Konate’s opportunities diminish further.

A loan stint at Sunderland could finally help him get that senior experience that his form has merited, whilst hopefully filling the void left by Simms’ exit.

Clearly an exciting talent, he was lauded by Dave Rogers, one of his U21 coaches, after swooping the player of the month award for his division. He claimed: “He’s scored some fantastic goals for us, but he brings so much more to the team than just finding the back of the net.

“He’s a threat for the opposition whenever he plays, and he has also added a real desire and work ethic off the ball too which is an area of improvement we asked of him. We now hope he can continue to progress from here because he’s a very talented individual.”

Konate could now convert this threat into tangible senior experience, perhaps pushing the Black Cats towards an unlikely but wholly possible playoff push.

#Sunderland #Ateef #Konate #Simms


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