Sessegnon a "good headache" for Bruce

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce admits Stephane Sessegnon's versatility presents him with a welcome headache.

Turn - shoot - goal!

The 27-year-old Benin international arrived at the Stadium of Light from French club Paris St Germain in January with a reputation for being able to play through the middle or on either flank, and his ability to switch roles has already been put to good use by the Black Cats.

Sessegnon has lined up in a wide midfield role, in the hole behind a lone striker and up front himself, and has started all 11 of the club's games to date this season.

He did not scored until the 2-0 Barclays Premier League win at Bolton on October 22, but his second came just a week later as he clinched a 2-2 draw with Aston Villa on Saturday.

Bruce said: "He gives you that good headache where he can play effectively [in several positions].

"That's what we looked at at the back end of last season when he played up top and got three goals in the last five games, and played in pre-season and got something like three or four goals in five games.

"But you worry and think, 'Can he score enough if we are going to play him up the top end of the pitch?' and that's what I have got in my mind at the moment.

"But he's certainly a very good player wherever he plays."

Sessegnon will do well to extend his scoring run this weekend as the Black Cats head for Manchester United.

They are likely to do so without goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who underwent surgery to repair his broken nose on Sunday after a collision with Villa's Emile Heskey, and 18-year-old Ben Wilson is in line to provide back-up to Keiren Westwood with Craig Gordon and Trevor Carson both injured.

Defender John O'Shea is also a major doubt after suffering a recurrence of the hamstring problem which severely truncated his pre-season.

Should O'Shea miss out against his former club, the chances of him joining up with the Republic of Ireland ahead of their Euro 2012 play-off against Estonia would be extremely remote.



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