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Sunderland have Lamine Kone heir in Ben Crompton

Sunderland are in desperate need of something a little bit different and a little bit special to propel them back into the Premier League, and turning to youth always brings the chance of that kind of player stepping up when called upon.

In Ben Crompton, they could unearth the perfect heir to Lamine Kone, who excelled for them at the back between 2016 and 2019.

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The Ivory Coast international featured 72 times for the Black Cats, earning a 6.90 average SofaScore rating during the 2016/17 Premier League season, and an outstanding 7.31 rating the season prior.

He was one of the shining lights during their relegation and acted as a hulking stalwart at the back.

Crompton sees himself as a similar type of defender, as he described himself after first signing: “I’m a ball-playing centre-back, and I like to think I’m very vocal, commanding and have good leadership traits on and off the pitch.”

To bring him in at the back could not only sure up Tony Mowbray’s defence but help progress his side if he is as good going forward as he suggests.

The 18-year-old came through the academy setup at Wolverhampton Wanderers but later found himself at Shrewsbury Town where he trained with the first team on a number of occasions.

Upon deciding to take his future elsewhere, he reportedly drew interest from Celtic. To have a side of that quality, who have a track record of breeding young English talent into stars in Scotland, his decision to sign for Sunderland was a brave one.

However, it is this belief in his ability to take them back to the Premier League that likely made him so sought-after.

Should Sunderland give Ben Crompton a go?

Yes

Yes

No

No

He supposedly first joined the Shrews as a central midfielder, which could explain his ability with the ball at his feet, but had earned a reputation for being one of the top performers in his age group.

The teenager is yet to feature in the Premier League 2 for the youth side, but once he starts to get minutes under his belt, there will be a belief both in him and the club that he can start to make the step up and be the Kone replacement they have been after since his departure.