A great summer for Sunderland just got better. The club have announced that midfield magician Stephane Sessegnon has signed a new 3-year contract.
Speculation has surrounded the future of the Benin international all summer, with many believing him to be homesick and hoping for a transfer to enable him to move closer to his family in Paris, but now fans can relax and watch the transfer deadline pass without fearing the worst.
O’Neill told safc.com: “I’m very pleased that Stephane has extended his contract.”
“Maybe in the light of some of the players who’ve come into the football club just recently, he might have had a look at that, I don’t know.
“I’m just very, very pleased Stephane has signed because he is a very talented player.
“We’re delighted to keep him.”
In essence, it is a one-year extension, and there is sure to be a significant pay-rise in it for Sessegnon, presumably to bring his earnings more into sync with that of recent arrival Adam Johnson.
But it is unquestionably hugely positive news for Sunderland. After the indignant departures in recent times of Darren Bent and Asamoah Gyan, it would be fair to suggest we have become a little cynical regarding the club's ability to hang on to its top players - as well as their willingness to commit themselves to the club.
This new contract, however, ultimately represents a show of faith from both club and player in Sunderland's future under Martin O'Neill, and so its significance should not be understated.