‘Had a few conversations’: Mowbray now explains surprise absences of £3k-a-week Sunderland ace

Tony Mowbray has explained why Sunderland’s Jewison Bennette has not been playing.

The Sunderland boss confessed to the Sunderland Echo that it was often the winger’s decision to be left out of the first-team squad.

Jewison Bennette joined Wearside from Costa Rican side C.S. Herediano last summer and rapidly established himself as a highly promising prospect, making 15 appearances and scoring a critical late equalizer against Watford.

The teenager went on to amaze even more this season, producing three Maradona spins before assisting Chris Rigg in Sunderland’s 5-0 win over Southampton in September.

Bennette’s sole appearance this season has proven to be his only appearance, and he has subsequently only been named to the bench three times. The attacker has not been included in the matchday squad since the 4-0 loss to Middlesbrough, but he has played five times for the U21 team.

Bennette, according to Mowbray, would rather play for the youth team than make a quick cameo appearance for the seniors.

“Jewison is fine, these squad issues are going to be around [as players return] and I have to make the decisions as to who is going to play and who isn’t,” Mowbray said in a statement.

“I’ve talked to Jewison a few times; he wants to play football and doesn’t want his international situation with Costa Rica to be too disrupted.” That’s why he’s been playing for the U21s, because if he sits on our bench and gets a few minutes, he might as well play for the U21s for 90 minutes. These are the exchanges I’ve had with him.

“I would never force him to play in the U21s; we talked about it, and his attitude is that it is better to get 90 minutes on a Friday night than five or no minutes the next day.”

That is a big compliment to him, and it will only serve him well in the future. At his age, all he needs to do is play football. That’s what the kid wants to do, therefore I see that as a huge plus. It speaks a lot about him, and it’s a good thing.”

Sunderland star Jewison Bennette and Costa Rica handed blow to World Cup  preparations - Chronicle Live

What should Sunderland do with Jewison Bennette?

In five games for Sunderland U21s, Jewison Bennette has scored once and contributed two assists.

He is certainly a tremendous talent, but he still appears extremely raw and a long way from consistently starring under Mowbray.

With players like Jack Clarke, Patrick Roberts, Abdoullah Ba, and Adil Aouchiche impressing, and the Black Cats being connected with further forward reinforcements, it’s difficult to see Bennette fitting in anytime soon.

I see no harm in loaning him out in January so he may gain valuable experience in the third or fourth tier.

He need frequent football and will struggle to adjust to living here if he does not regularly play competitive games in front of thousands of people.



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