Sunderland boss drops big Edouard Michut selection hint in verdict on PSG loanee's progress
Tony Mowbray has hinted that Edouard Michut is closing in on his Sunderland debut.
The Sunderland head coach had previously identified October as the point at which he expected the 19-year-old to be pushing for regular inclusion in the matchday squad.
Michut joined just before the close of the summer window on loan from PSG, with the club holding an option to purchase at the end of the season.
The talented midfielder did not train with the senior group at PSG during pre-season as his future was resolved, and so he has needed time to acclimatise and build his match fitness on Wearside.
Michut played 70 minutes for the U21s in a 2-0 defeat to Middlesbrough last weekend before being shown two yellow cards in quick succession, but Mowbray was watching on and believes the Frenchman was hard done by.
Nevertheless, he says that game was a sign of the challenge Michut faces in the weeks and months ahead.
"He needs some encouragement in terms of having the opportunity to play, I think," Mowbray said.
"I think he was very harshly dealt with in the 21s game, to be honest with you. When you see some of the tackles that were going in during that game...
"He's a good kid, a young boy but very talented. He's very focused, he feels almost ready to play and I hope that when the opportunity comes to play everybody sees this player with two lovely feet, lovely balance, who looks forward with his passes. He's a player I would like [to have in my team].
"[The question] is he ready for the physicality of the league? Is he ready for when someone grabs him by the throat to drag him back and play gets waved on? There was a bit of that in the 21s game last week, which I think was a bit of an eye-opener for him.
"But I do think he will acclimatise because he is a good kid, and his talent will come out on top in the end, whether that's in the short or the long term.
"Edouard is a very good player."
Michut has not yet been named in a matchday squad but that looks set to change imminently.