Bruce sees striking role for Sessegon

11 July 2011 01:50
SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce has hinted he will not sign another striker during the transfer window after revealing he is happy to include Stephane Sessegnon as one of his attacking options.

Bruce has already added South Korean Ji Dong-Won and teenage sensation Connor Wickham to a front line which already boasts Asamoah Gyan and Frazier Campbell.

At the end of last season, the Black Cats boss was left with just one fit senior striker, Gyan, after Danny Welbeck returned to Manchester United and Campbell was ruled out for the majority of the new season through his longstanding knee problem.

That left Bruce to push Benin international Sessegnon into a more advanced role in the final few weeks of last season, but the midfielder impressed and the Black Cats boss admits he now considers the former Paris St Germain man as one of his forwards.

The Wearsiders have been linked with a move for Russian international Pavel Pogrebnyak, while Bruce hasn't given up hope of resigning Welbeck, but the Black Cats boss admits is happy with the quartet of Gyan, Dong-Won, Wickham and Sessegnon.

He said: We'll see what's available, but I was particularly happy with Sessegnon last season.

I think his best position is where he played in the last month of the season, in and around a striker in a little free role. I thought he was terrific at Bolton, he was a lone striker there, and at West Ham he was fantastic. That really convinced me that's his best position.

So to get the best out of him I decided to count him as one of our strikers. I'm happy to work with four. It's very, very difficult to work with five, six, seven. I'm quite happy to work with four.

I also know a few of them are young and they'll be great players in the future. I think Wickham and Ji Dong-Won will be great additions.

Ji Dong-Won is a bit different.

He's 6ft 2in. They're both young and they're both hungry.

In Connor we've signed arguably one of the best young players in the country. We know that, but we also know he's only 18, so we have to look after him and make sure the development is right.

Bruce may be happy with his attacking options, but one area the Black Cats boss has a big decision to make is at the other end of the pitch.

Kieren Westwood recently put pen-to-paper on a deal at the Stadium of Light, joining Simon Mignolet and Craig Gordon as the club's three senior goalkeepers.

Former Coventry City stopper Westwood arrived on Wearside on July 1, and it is thought Bruce has already indicated to the Republic of Ireland international that he will start the new term as the club's number one keeper.

That puts question marks over the future of Gordon, who is recovering from a knee problem which kept him out for large parts of last season.

Gordon's current deal at the club is due to expire next summer, but the 28-year-old has already been linked with potential moves to Arsenal and Aston Villa.

And Celtic manager Neil Lennon revealed yesterday that Gordon was on his radar as he looks to bring a new keeper to Parkhead after onloan Fraser Forster returned to Newcastle at the end of last season.

Ex-Hearts man Gordon would fit the bill for Lennon, but the Celtic boss doubts the club's strict wage structure would be able to accommodate the 28-year-old's cash demands.

Lennon said: He's a good keeper but whether we could afford him or not is another thing.

He certainly fits the bill as the type of keeper we're looking for.

Meanwhile, The Black Cats have snapped up 16-year-old French wonderkid Mikael Mandron for their academy.

Mandron, a 6ft 3in striker, was due to sign youth forms over the weekend after impressing on trial. He has been playing in the French lower leagues in Boulogne, where his performances attracted interest from oversees scouts.

Source: Northern_Echo