Steve Bruce insists he made the right call in letting Kenwyne Jones leave Wearside.
Jones has been in good form since his £8m move to Stoke in August, scoring four times in six games for his new club, including last weekend’s equaliser against Newcastle that set the Potters on their way to victory at St James’ Park.
And Bruce is pleased the move has worked out well for both Jones and Sunderland, who used the cash generated by the sale to bring in £13m club record buy Asamoah Gyan as a replacement.
Bruce said: “To be fair, I expected Kenwyne to go to his new club and make an impact. He’s that type of player.
“Good for him – and I mean that. But it doesn’t change my view on the decision to let him leave – I think it was time for him to go. I think he was probably past his sell-by date at Sunderland.
“But I wish him luck because he was never, ever a problem for me in terms of getting on with him – I just wanted to go in a different direction.”
Bruce splashed out big money on Ghana international Gyan, who joined the Black Cats from French side Rennes on deadline day at the end of August.
Gyan, who was expected to make his first Premier League start against Manchester United at the Stadium of Light this afternoon, still has some way to go before he is fully match-fit, but has already shown encouraging signs with a goal on his debut at Wigan and another in his first home start against West Ham in the Carling Cup.
Bruce said: “I’m very happy to have Asamoah in as a replacement – and that’s probably an understatement.
“He’ll be an absolutely fantastic player for us, I’ve got no doubt about that. It’s just a question of him getting him absolutely fit because he lost out on that peak fitness over the summer after the World Cup and he didn’t do much at Rennes either.
“He’s been out on the training ground the last few sessions, scratching his head at the speed and energy of it all.
“But he’s got the capacity to get up to that level over the next few weeks, and when he does, he’s going to take some stopping.”
Gyan’s arrival will give Sunderland more attacking options, as he thrives as a lone striker – a role that the Black Cats’ goal king Darren Bent is not so comfortable playing.
Bruce is also looking forward to pairing his £30m strikeforce together to form what he believes could become the most lethal double act outside the Premier League’s Big Four.