Bruce backs Muntari to shine
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has backed on-loan midfielder Sulley Muntari to become a key figure.
Last Updated: 07/02/11 4:55pm
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has backed on-loan midfielder Sulley Muntari to become a key figure at the Stadium of Light.
The Ghanaian international arrived on Wearside just before the end of the January transfer window from Inter Milan to provide some dynamism to the Black Cats midfield.
Muntari was a big success in England before his move to the Italian giants, becoming a key figure in Portsmouth's midfield in their FA Cup-winning season of 2007/08.
His impact alerted the attentions of Jose Mourinho, who paid £12.7million for his services in the summer of 2008, but he failed to hold down a regular place for the Nerazzurri.
Bruce is pleased to have secured a player who has won trophies and has Premier League experience, although he admits he would like more time to bed the 26-year-old back into English football.
"The good thing about him is he has played in the Premier League and he is used to the Premier League," said Bruce.
"I think he was [Jose] Mourinho's second signing at Inter Milan - and if you look at what he has done there, won the Champions League, won the league twice...
"He is a very, very good player - if you look in those times, he has scored something like 15, 16 goals, so he can bring you a goal, he has got a wand of a left foot.
"He is a very, very good player, so that's what we have brought him in for.
"In an ideal world, I would love to have had him for two or three weeks to get used to the squad and get him up to match fitness, but we might have to throw him in at the deep end and let him swim."
Bruce also hinted that there could be a permanent move on the cards should the former Udinese player meet his expectations.
"There's an option in there which we have agreed with Sulley. If we take the option up, the agreement is in principle with him, so we hope we can make it permanent, but we will see," Bruce added.