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Sunderland: Tony Mowbray reveals Aji Alese injury blow

A huge update has emerged on Sunderland central defender Aji Alese and his fitness ahead of their Championship clash with Burnley

What’s the latest?

Black Cats boss Tony Mowbray has revealed that the summer signing from West Ham United is now set to be out until the World Cup break next month.

The youngster suffered a knock in the 2-0 defeat to Blackburn Rovers in the Championship in midweek and he is now set to be out of action for a number of weeks.

Speaking to The Chronicle, Mowbray said:

“Aji is in a protective plastic boot at the moment to stop him stressing the area. He’s had a scan, it’s not as bad as we thought it might be because it looked a really bad one.

“We watched the incident back on the video with the medical department and he has twisted his ankle as well as taking a really heavy kick on it. I think the best-case scenario is three to four weeks, which probably takes us to the international World Cup break.”

 Big blow for Mowbray

This news will come as a big blow to the Sunderland boss as the centre-back has been in fine form in the Championship since breaking into the squad.

Is this a huge blow for Sunderland?

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The 21-year-old was brought in from the Hammers ahead of the 2022/23 campaign and he has caught the eye whilst playing as a left centre-back and left-back.

Alese has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.08 in nine appearances in the second tier, starting seven of those matches. He has made 3.4 tackles and interceptions per game, whilst winning 66% of his ground duels, and has created 0.9 chances per outing – as per SofaScore.

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Sunderland striker Ross Stewart in action

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Only Alex Pritchard (7.09) and Ross Stewart (7.66) have averaged higher ratings than the centre-back within the Sunderland squad this season and this suggests that he has been one of the club’s top performers.

The gem, who Mowbray has dubbed “magnificent“, has been one of the standout players in the team since becoming a starter, as evidenced by the aforementioned statistics, and they will now have to play the next five Championship games ahead of the World Cup break without him.

Therefore, losing Alese is a big blow for the manager as he will be without one of his best players for five matches.

The statistics suggest that, unless another player is able to step up and replicate the 21-year-old’s form, Sunderland will be worse off without him in the team, which is why his injury is a setback for the side.

Article title: Sunderland: Tony Mowbray reveals Aji Alese injury blow

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