'We’ll both push each other for that shirt' - City ace's Aarons battle
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Bali Mumba is chasing the Premier League dream as he strives to impress for Norwich City during pre-season.
Although injury restricted the 19-year-old to just six appearances last season, he has featured in all three of City's friendly games so far and recently signed a new long-term contract.
The full-back was signed from Sunderland last summer, where he had mostly been restricted to under-23s appearances and was on loan at step three of non-league, despite having represented England regularly at youth levels up to his U19 age group.
“Very excited, it’s every young teenager’s dream," Mumba said ahead of the new top-flight season.
"I’m just looking forward to kicking on and hopefully enjoying the experience. Hopefully, we can get results and stay up.”
Although he was kept on the fringes after missing six weeks during the middle of the last campaign due to a knee injury, the youngster still loved being part of a promotion success.
He added: “It’s been great, the experience alone has been fantastic for me, at such a young age, to experience what we did last season."
Mumba will have to usurp Max Aarons if he is to get regular game time at right-back but knows he must be ready for action if one of the many big clubs linked with Aarons makes a big-money bid or if the England U21 regular picks up an injury.
“It’s a good challenge, to be honest," he said of competing with a player renowned for consistency. "The battle is healthy. I’ll push him in training and he’ll push me.
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“We’ll both push each other for that shirt, so it’s a good, healthy battle which keeps me on my toes and him on his toes.”
Some of City's young players head out on loan to press their claims, as seen by players including Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey in the past.
Josh Martin is spending the season with MK Dons and keeper Dan Barden is at Livingston but Mumba is content to remain patient as part of Daniel Farke's squad.
“I’m happy to stay in and around the team and fight for my place," he added. "At the end of the day that’s what I’m here for, to fight for my place, and hopefully earn that shirt.
“Loans is something to look at but I feel like right now I can sort of put that in a bottle and look to get that shirt.”