Posh boss expects Canaries loanee Mumba to be an 'important addition'

Bali Mumba of Norwich and Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City in action during the Premier League match

Bali Mumba in Premier League action for Norwich City earlier this season - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Norwich City have allowed young full-back Bali Mumba to return to the Championship on loan for the rest of the season. 

The 20-year-old has been on the fringes at City, making three appearances earlier in the campaign, so has been allowed to join Peterborough United. 

“I am very happy to get Bali signed," Posh boss Darren Ferguson told his club's website. "He is comfortable at both left and right-back and can also play as a wing-back.

"He will be an important addition to the squad, and I am really looking forward to working with him for the rest of the season."

Mumba started two home League Cup ties on the right - a 6-0 thrashing of Bournemouth and a 3-0 loss to Liverpool - and came on at half-time of a 5-0 defeat at Manchester City in the Premier League, replacing Dimitris Giannoulis at left-back with the score at 2-0. 

He has featured in a couple of under-23s outings as well, scoring one and setting up two as he played at left-back in a 5-0 thrashing of Wolves U23s in late November.

The Sunderland academy product has been on the bench for the last four top-flight matches but is yet to make an appearance since Dean Smith took over as head coach. 

Most Read

“I am really happy to be here and can’t wait to get started," Mumba told Posh+. "My experience at Norwich City so far has been really good and this is an opportunity for me to go out and play first-team football and try and help Posh achieve their targets this season, which is remaining in this division.

“I like to get forward and support the attacks and obviously do my job of defending and I can play in either full-back or wing-back position.

"When I found out about the interest, it was something that really interested me, the manager here has been very successful, the team got promoted last season and I know there are some good players here.

“I just want to meet the lads, get the first training session under my belt and take it from there. I know this is a good club, I have spoken to people who have either worked or played here and it is a really good opportunity for me to hopefully play regular first-team football.”

Signed in the summer of 2020 in a deal worth a reported £500,000, the former England Under-19 international made six appearances as Norwich won the Championship last season. 

Primarily providing cover for Max Aarons at right-back, Mumba’s progress was disrupted by a November knee injury that caused him to miss over a month and a spell of Covid-19 isolation in January. 

With Sam Byram recently returning to fitness and Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams also able to play on the right, it appears City have decided they can allow the youngster out to get some consistent game-time. 

He signed a contract extension in the summer until 2025, with the option for a further year, and is highly thought of by the Canaries. 

With the battle for Premier League survival looking daunting at the halfway stage and Aarons highly likely to be sold if relegation cannot be avoided, Mumba could well have an important role to play if City return to the second tier. 

Ryan Ledson of Preston North End and Bali Mumba of Norwich in action during the Sky Bet Championship

Bali Mumba in Championship action for Norwich against Preston last season - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Peterborough have recently suffered an injury blow as experienced left-back Dan Butler suffered ankle ligament damage that is expected to mean his season is already over. 

Ferguson has generally switched between 3-5-2 and 4-3-3 formations this season so Mumba’s versatility appears to be of particular help, with Nathan Thompson sometimes used at right-back and centre-back. 

Posh sit 22nd and three points adrift of safety in the Championship table, having been promoted as League One runners-up. 

They released former King's Lynn, Dereham and Lowestoft left-back Frazer-Blake Tracy in the summer, who is now at Burton Albion, as well as right-back Niall Mason.

They signed left-back Joe Tomlinson from Eastleigh though and the 19-year-old has filled in since Butler's injury, with midfielder Joe Ward regularly used as a right wing-back as well.

Mumba's most memorable display as a Norwich player came as a substitute in November 2020, replacing Jacob Sorensen at left-back and injecting attacking energy against promotion rivals Swansea, with his run leading to Marco Stiepermann's late winner - but that was followed by his knee injury.

Posh have a home tie in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, against League Two strugglers Bristol Rovers, and then host mid-table Coventry when they return to Championship action the following Saturday.

Mumba has been assigned the squad number 24 , having worn 26 at City.

City loans manager Andrew Hughes has 17 players to monitor and mentor currently, with Mumba's move following U23s strikers Tom Dickson-Peters (Gillingham) and Tyrese Omotoye (Carlisle) sealing loan deals in recent days as well.

NCFC EXTRA: Mumba's big chance to show City he's ready