NEDUM Onuoha says Stephane Sessegnon will emerge as a major Sunderland star next season.
And the on-loan Manchester City man has asked the club’s fans to continue giving Sessegnon the time needed to settle in at the Stadium of Light.
He told the Echo: “I’m sure Sunderland supporters can see Stephane’s potential and that’s why they’ve been patient with him.
“He’s trying to find his feet in England and in the Premier League, and it takes time.
“I know from my own experience this season that it’s all very strange at first when you move to a new club, but it must be twice as bad when you move to a different country with a different language, culture and style of play.
“Anyone coming from abroad to the Premier League is going to find it difficult.
“But I’m sure Sunderland supporters will see the best of him next season when he’s used to the whole set-up.
“I train with him and I can see the quality that he’s got on the ball.”
Onuoha, right, added: “He’s very skilful, he’s quick, he can pick a pass and he can score goals.
“I think it’ll just take time for him to acclimatise and you probably won’t see him at his best until next season.
“There’s no doubt in my mind, though, that it’ll be worth the wait – we’ll see a fantastic player.
“You can see he’s already a lot more comfortable now than he was when he came here in January.
“His English isn’t the best, but he is getting better and I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s speaking fluent Mackem!”
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce admits he has yet to discover exactly where Sessegnon’s best position is – left-winger, one of three attackers, or as a deep-lying support striker.
But Onuoha reckons the Benin international has a spark up front and has shown signs of that in the last couple of games when pressed into action as an emergency striker.
“I thought Sess led the line really well in both the games against Wigan and Fulham.
“He was a brave man to take the penalty against Wigan, considering he hadn’t scored and I think that’s the sort of character you can expect to see from now on.”