ASAMOAH Gyan has proven himself a top Premier League player less than six months after his arrival in English football, says Steve Bruce.
And the Black Cats boss reckons the club’s record signing might actually been helped rather than hindered by the departure of fellow frontman Darren Bent last month.
He told the Echo: “We’re delighted with Asamoah because one of the big risks when you bring in players from abroad is whether or not they’re going to be able to adapt to our style of football.
“We’ve had plenty of players coming to English clubs over the years that have been absolute stars abroad but haven’t been able for one reason or another to do it in this country and we’ve had experience of it ourselves recently.
“Paulo Da Silva looked a world-beater over in Mexico, but he came over here and struggled to adapt.
“Last summer he looked a world-beater again during the World Cup in South Africa and we had high hopes that his second season would be the one where he proved himself but once again he found it difficult and moved on to Real Zaragoza last month.
“It wouldn’t surprise me though if Spanish football proves more suited to him and you see the best of him again.
“The difference between Paulo and Asamoah is that Paulo arrived on a free while Asamoah cost us a club record fee.
“I always thought he would do well with us but you can never, ever, be 100 per cent certain and I’m just glad to see that he has done so well.
“A few months further down the line from his signing and I don’t think anyone can argue that he has what it takes to handle Premier League football.
“He’s had an added burden on his shoulders recently, being our only fit striker since Darren Bent left, but he seems to have thrived on that.
“Losing Darren was a massive blow for us, no doubt about that, but Asamoah has played as a lone striker almost his entire career and it’s almost as if it is his natural game to play up front by himself.”
Bruce went out on a limb in persuading owner Ellis Short to part with £13m on transfer deadline day for the Ghanaian star, but the contribution of the 25-year-old so far has justified the big outlay.
The African has 10 goals in 25 games for the club this season, and 11 of those games have seen him come off the substitutes’ bench.
On top of that, he has weighed in with several important assists to show that he is as much a goal creator as he is a goalscorer and Bruce believes that he could be a key player for Sunderland for years to come.
He said: “He’s happy here and we’re happy to have him here and hopefully he’ll be here for a long time. He’s the all-round package, a complete player, and a massive asset to this club.”