Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is predicting a bright Premier League future for his new team-mate Stéphane Sessègnon. The 26-year-old Benin midfielder arrived at the Stadium of Light in a £6m move from Paris St-Germain in January, and has already impressed during his few weeks on Wearside.
Sessègnon's form, however, has come as no surprise to Gyan, who saw him at close hand during his own spell in France with Rennes. Gyan said: "He's a fantastic player. I know him from France and he was one of the best players in France. He hasn't played for quite a while, but since he came here, he has done well in the Premier League. He's a ball juggler and if he is in top shape, he will help the team."
Sessègnon made his Sunderland debut in the 4-2 home defeat by Chelsea on 1 February, and has played every minute of the three games the club have contested since his arrival. Despite his best efforts, he has finished on the losing side on every occasion, a run that has seen Sunderland slip out of the top six.
However, manager Steve Bruce has been delighted with his contribution so far and is confident there is more to come. He said: "The kid is disappointed because he has come in and played really, really well in a couple of games and we haven't won a match yet. But you can see he has taken to it straight away. I think he will be a big crowd-pleaser – he's a good player, the kid, and hopefully there's a lot more to come from him."
Bruce has handed his players a short break, with the club having no fixture this weekend, and they will return desperate to end their losing streak despite facing a tough run of matches.
They resume at Everton on 26 February and then head for Arsenal and Manchester City either side of Liverpool's visit to the Stadium of Light on 20 March. By that point, Bruce hopes to have Michael Turner and Fraizer Campbell back from injury and Lee Cattermole and Danny Welbeck close to returning.
The presence of John Mensah in the team for the last two games following his recovery from an ankle problem and Sulley Muntari's arrival on loan from Internazionale have strengthened the manager's hand, and Gyan, for one, has been delighted to link up once again with his Ghana team-mates.
The striker said: "I have played with them for a long time – for eight years in the national team. I have played with Sulley in a club side at Udinese and I know what he can do, and if he gets the ball, I know what he wants to do.
"It's a good move for him. I have seen Sulley play for a long time and it's a good thing for the team."