ASAMOAH Gyan says he is already looking forward to next season at Sunderland and the prospect of a growing understanding with fellow African Stephane Sessegnon blossoming in the new campaign.
The Black Cats’ record signing has been the subject of transfer speculation this summer, in particular with a potential move to Tottenham Hotspur.
But he has reiterated his commitment to Sunderland and the belief that the arrival of players like Benin international Sessegnon can only help to drive the club forward.
Attacking midfielder Sessegnon was thrust up front as an emergency striker for three of the final four games after Gyan strained his hamstring against Wigan.
But when Gyan returned for the final Premier League encounter at West Ham, it enabled Sessegnon to drop into a deeper role and the duo swiftly struck up an effective double-act.
Former Rennes striker Gyan believes that is evidence of the progress Sessegnon has made after taking time to find his feet since his £6million January move from Paris St Germain.
The Ghana striker told the Echo: “We are trying to build that relationship.
“I played against him in France so I knew him already.
“Everything is beginning to work and next year it’s going to be a good partnership.
“Stephane came here in January and it was hard for him after not playing for so long. He struggled for a bit.
“But at the end of the season, he has established himself and did really well – in his mind, he is thinking next season will be good for him.
“I wish him well and I hope the two of us can work well together.
“It was something positive to come out of the end of the season.”
Ambitious Gyan was flattered by the idea of Spurs’ interest in him, but he remains very much a Sunderland player – something underlined by chairman Niall Quinn’s angry insistence last week that stories suggesting Sunderland were ready to sell him were absolute rubbish.
And Gyan has admitted he has been surprised and touched by the welcome he has received on Wearside and the backing that exists for him to succeed at the Stadium of Light.
“They gave me a warm reception,” he told reporters back in Ghana. “It was amazing.
“Since I went to Sunderland, anything I do they appreciate it, especially the fans.
“They know how hard-working I am.
“Even if we lose, you keep on working hard.”