April 24, 2024

On-loan Mason Burstow, a Chelsea striker, has slipped to the outskirts after struggling on Wearside in the first part of the season.
Mason Burstow’s loan term at Sunderland has turned into a nightmare, but Black Cats manager Michael Beale claims he has not been involved in any talks about the striker returning to Chelsea sooner. Burstow joined Sunderland on a season-long loan on deadline day, despite apparent interest from AC Milan, but has struggled at Championship level and has failed to score.

He made a half-dozen starts in September and October, but he has subsequently been a bit-part player, with only two subsequent starts and four appearances off the bench. Burstow is not Sunderland’s lone flop in front of goal; fellow summer acquisitions Nazariy Rusyn, Luis Hemir, and Eliezer Mayenda have also failed to make an impact.
More recently, three separate head coaches – Tony Mowbray, interim leader Mike Dodds, and now Beale – have chosen attacking midfielders such as Jobe Bellingham, Alex Pritchard, Bradley Dack, or Abdoullah Ba as forwards. With Burstow only getting sporadic gametime, Chelsea could recall him in January – although FIFA rules state that a player can only play for two clubs in a single season and, as Burstow has already represented Chelsea and Sunderland, he couldn’t be loaned elsewhere to get more minutes, so it would only make sense if the Blues were going to use him themselves.
“I haven’t had that discussion [about Burstow’s future], I’ve just come in and I’m having a look at these players,” said Beale, whose Sunderland side faces Preston North End at the Stadium of Light this afternoon. “I tried Mason [from the bench] against Rotherham, and I tried young Eliezer off the bench against Coventry City last week.”


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“I’m looking at the boys in training; it’s my first time working with them, and it’s been widely reported that the strikers we brought in have yet to score.” “I’m looking and seeing what we can do as the window opens, but my focus right now is working with them in training, getting them in front of the goal, and scoring.”There’s a lot of work being done behind the scenes with these strikers, and I believe it’s evident that as a team, we need to turn our possession into more shots and, ultimately, more goals. “Before coming in, I believe we had the highest expected-goals in the league, but that only matters if you can put it on the scoreboard.”I want the ball to go in the net because, despite having 70 percent possession as the away team at Rotherham, we had tremendous issues in the game. I expect us to put more pressure on the goalie than we did last time, relieving some of the pressure off Jack [Clarke]. He’s on fire right now, and long may it continue.”

Clarke leads Sunderland with 12 goals, and his deflected goal at Rotherham on Friday night earned the Black Cats a point. Sunderland’s lack of striker goals may prompt the club to return to the transfer market now that the January window has opened.

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