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Bali Mumba Wins EFL Young Player Of The Month Award

As far as loan spells go, Bali Mumba's has probably been one of the most successful in the English Football League this season.

The 21-year-old wing-back has capped an excellent start to his season at Plymouth Argyle with two goals and two assists in establishing himself in League One's table-topping side.

But it was his first home goal for the Pilgrims - against Norwich's bitter rivals Ipswich Town - that has endeared him to supporters of his parent club.

"Norwich fans loved it more than me," he joked to BBC Sport ahead of a training session.

"That was a great moment. Just to get a goal in front of the home fans was enough. The fans are incredible, so I always wanted to get a goal at home just to see what the atmosphere's like.

"After the game I saw the reactions of everyone. I didn't really think they would clock on as much as they did, but after the game I went on Twitter and saw the messages and stuff like that. That was when I was like 'OK, this is pretty big then'."

The former England youth international has started 12 of Argyle's opening 13 League One matches - only goalkeeper Michael Cooper and centre-back Dan Scarr have started more - having grasped a chance presented to him in part by summer signing Mickel Miller's pre-season thigh injury.

"It's been incredible. Since day one I've enjoyed my time and because I'm enjoying being here it's showing on the pitch," he added.

"When I'm at a place where I feel good I think that's where I play my best football. It's showing on the pitch how much I'm enjoying it."

Bali Mumba's one Premier League appearance came at Manchester City in August 2021

Mumba began his career at Sunderland, where he broke into the fringes of the first-team squad in 2018 before joining Norwich City for an undisclosed fee in the summer of 2020.

He made six first-team appearances in the 2020-21 season and came on as a half-time substitute in Norwich's 5-0 loss at Manchester City in August 2021 - his only Premier League game - before spending the second half of last season on loan at Peterborough United in the Championship.

Mumba hopes that following in the footsteps of players such as James Maddison, Fabio Carvalho, Conor Gallagher and Jude Bellingham, who have all been named EFL young player of the month in previous seasons, will be a foundation for a successful career.

"It's a huge honour for me. Great young players have won this award and it's something that I've always been inspired to try and get," he said.

"My biggest aim is to just to be able to play football at the highest level that I can get to. That's the overall target of it all.

"By the time I finish my career I want to look back and say I played at this level, this level, I finally managed to reach the highs that I can get, which is Premier League.

"That's something that's a dream for me that I'm working towards, but I don't like looking too far ahead of what's to come.

"Right now I'm just living in the moment and just trying to do the job here and do well here, and the future will worry about itself if I can play my part here right now."

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