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If Bristol City offer Antoine Semenyo to Sunderland again when the January transfer window opens, you can guarantee the Black Cats are likely to bite their hands clean off the bone.

Lee Johnson is a big admirer of a young winger who rose through the ranks during his time in the Ashton Gate dugout.

And, just like Phil Parkinson before him, Johnson has made it his mission to bring “pace and power” to the Stadium of Light next month (Echo).

So who better to bring in than an exciting young forward who has unfinished business at the Stadium of Light?

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Semenyo made just seven League One appearances for the Wearside giants before the 2019/20 season was cut short.

But while Parkinson’s pragmatic tactics failed to get the best out of the mercurial talent, the quicksilver 20-year-old feels a perfect fit for Johnson’s more free-flowing, forward-thinking style.

Speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat to Wigan Athletic, a game in which Sunderland outshot their visitors 16-1 and dominated 72 per cent of possession, Johnson made it clear the Black Cats are crying out for invention and a dash of unpredictability in the final third.

And those are two attributes Semenyo possesses in droves.

Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

“He definitely has something – that technical capability and strength and power,” Johnson told the BBC via the Bristol Post in 2019 when discussing the London-born forward.

“He’s excellent outside the box but he needs to work inside the box and on getting across players. On that instinct to score goals. But we believe we have a raw talent who can be brilliant for Bristol City.”

The big question, of course, is whether Bristol City would be willing to send Semenyo back to Sunderland?

They know Johnson can be trusted to polish a rough diamond a la Joe Bryan, Adam Webster, Lloyd Kelly and Bobby Reid.

But with seven assists and two goals to his name from 19 appearances, Semenyo is finally starting to establish himself as a key member of Bristol City’s first-team plans.

If Johnson wants a favour from his former employers, he’ll have to do some serious sweet talking.

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

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