STEPHANE Sessegnon was the predictable, overwhelming winner in the Echo’s vote on Sunderland’s player of the season.
But Sessegnon’s impact this season has not gone unnoticed elsewhere, with Europe’s heavyweights all casting covetous eyes towards the Benin international.
Manchester City, Arsenal and Spurs have all been linked with Sessegnon, along with his former employers, Paris St Germain.
Talk of the 28-year-old being homesick has only intensified the speculation, even though Sessegnon has repeatedly stressed he has “unfinished business” on Wearside.
Sessegnon is Sunderland’s most saleable asset though and they could certainly command more than the £6million they paid PSG for his services 18 months ago.
The Black Cats saw the benefits of cashing in on one of their star performers last summer when the £19m acquired from the sale of Jordan Henderson enabled them to bring in 11 new recruits.
While supporters were sad to see an academy product leave the Stadium of Light, there was a general realisation that Sunderland had made a good deal – one that looks even better after the England international’s struggles at Liverpool this season.
But the vast majority of those surveyed are determined that Sunderland keep hold of Sessegnon this summer.
An overwhelming 82 per cent replied “No” when asked if Sunderland should cash in on Sessegnon.
Martin O’Neill is likely to share those sentiments after publicly expressing his wish to keep hold of the club’s shining attacking lights Sessegnon and James McClean.
READ more results from the Echo’s survey in Friday’s paper