STEVE Bruce has tipped Stephane Sessegnon to become a Sunderland legend.
The Black Cats boss knew he was signing a top class player when he persuaded the board to part with £5m back in January for the services of the Paris Saint-Germain attacker.
But he has been thrilled at the quality of the Benin International since his arrival on Wearside.
So much so, that he has no qualms about talking up the player’s prospects.
He said: “I think he has the potential to go on and become one of the all-time greats at this club.
“I know that sounds like a heck of a burden to put on the shoulders of a young player who is just starting out here.
“But I wouldn’t say it if I thought it would faze him and I know he is the type of character who’ll take it all in his stride.
“He’s been fantastic since he got here and he’s getting better and better.
“He’s got great vision, pace, an eye for goal and an excellent temperament and some of the things he’s coming out with in training are unbelievable.
“I’m very excited about him and I’m hoping we are going to see the best of him next season.”
The 27 year old scored three goals in his final five games for Sunderland last season after being switched to a more attacking role.
It’s the sort of attacking fluency that has convinced his manager that Sessegnon’s best position is playing just behind the main striker.
Bruce mused: “We were forced to throw him up front towards the end of the season.
“He was a revelation there.
“He is excellent in that position, as he’s shown in pre-season.”
“So we look to use him regularly in a 4-4-1-1 formation.
“And despite the fact he lacks height, he is also excellent as the spearhead of a 4-5-1 formation.
“His energy up front and his ability to hold the ball up are great assets in a lone striker.
“And I will have no worries, especially away from home against top teams, in asking him to perform in that role if we think it’s the right way to go.”