JOHN Mensah believes fellow countryman Sulley Muntari can play more of an attacking role in Sunderland’s midfield when he adapts to life back in the Premier League.
On-loan Muntari has been used as a holding midfielder for his first three games for the Black Cats with tough-tackling duo Lee Cattermole and David Meyler still sidelined through injury.
After a bright debut at Stoke, the ex-Portsmouth player has endured a mixed time in his subsequent two outings with Bruce withdrawing the 26-year-old for the final 15 minutes of Saturday’s defeat at Everton.
Muntari is yet to rediscover his match fitness after only enduring a bit-part role at parent club Inter Milan this season.
And Mensah insists his Ghanaian team-mate may find more joy playing in the advanced role he enjoys for his country.
“Sulley likes goalscoring but maybe that’s not the kind of game the manager wants in these matches,” said Ghana skipper Mensah.
“I believe Sulley can play in all the midfield positions because he has a powerful shot with his left foot and he can score and defend. “
“The Sulley I know in the national team plays on the left wing.
“He gets forward, comes back to defend and sometimes gets in front of the attackers.
“I believe he can do that for Sunderland too if the manager wants him too.
“But the manager can make the decision on the team and he knows the way he wants to use him.”
Muntari and fellow January signing Stephane Sessegnon have tasted defeat in each of their appearances in a Sunderland shirt.
Sessegnon has impressed in his four outings since arriving in a £6million deal from Paris St Germain yet his arrival has coincided with Sunderland’s worst run of the season.
But on-loan Lyon defender Mensah is confident the Benin international can make his mark at the Stadium of Light after previously locking horns with the 26-year-old in France.
Mensah added: “He was at PSG quite a long time and I played against them three times in France for Lyon. I knew he was a good player.
“He’s very difficult to play against – short with a low centre of gravity.
“He’s like Steed Malbranque, it’s difficult to get the ball from him.”