South Shields swoop for ex-Manchester United, Manchester City and Burnley youth Ntumba Massanka
South Shields FC have completed the signing of striker Ntumba Massanka.
Massanka has made a strong impression in training over recent weeks and has put pen to paper after receiving international clearance.
The 24-year-old most recently played for Italian side ASD Angelana, having spent his formative years in the youth systems of clubs including Manchester United, Manchester City and Burnley
He has also represented York City, Morecambe, Dover Athletic and Belgian outfit RWD Molenbeek, with his most recent spell in England having been with then-National League club Chorley in the 2019-20 season.
During his time at Burnley, Massanka played alongside Nathan Lowe and two former Mariners, Luke Daly and Jason Gilchrist.
He said: “I’m really happy that it’s over the line.
“It took a little bit of time but I’m just glad to be here and settled after such a long year of not playing due to the pandemic.
“Nathan (Lowe) messaged me about coming here and persuaded me to have a look, and Luke (Daly) also said nothing but good things about the club.
“As soon as I got here and saw the facilities, the way the club is operated and the players we have, it was a no-brainer and I wanted to get signed up straightaway.”
Massanka was a prolific goalscorer at youth level during a long-term stint at Burnley and is now looking to put down roots at Shields after a number of loan moves.
He added: “I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of weeks in pre-season.
“It has been tough but the morale is great, the lads are great and everyone has really welcomed me into the group.
“I believe we have the quality to achieve what we want at the end of the season, which is promotion.
“It’s definitely important to me to come here and settle down. I want to enjoy my football again and be at a place where I feel it’s going forward.
“I know for sure that this club – if you speak to the manager, chairman or players – is going in the right direction. I think it’s perfect for me to be here.”
Manager Graham Fenton said: “Tumbs came onto our radar through Nathan Lowe, who spoke very highly of him as a person and footballer having played with him at Burnley a few years ago.
“Nathan didn’t hesitate to recommend him as a really good option for us at the top end of the pitch.
“Tumbs came in initially for a week on trial and hugely impressed myself, Jon Shaw and Brian Smith, which is why we invited him back for another week.
“After the second week of training, we felt that offering Tumbs a contract was a no-brainer because of the qualities he had shown.
“The supporters can look forward to seeing a centre-forward who can look after the ball, understands centre-forward movements and will definitely chip in with his fair share of goals.
“On top of that, Tumbs has fitted brilliantly into the squad and is such a fantastic young man.
“We look forward to seeing him in a South Shields shirt as soon as possible.”