Gus Poyet believes that his new striker Ignacio Scocco could be the missing piece in Sunderland's attack.
Although the manager concedes that it will take time for his £4m man to adapt to the
Premier League, Poyet says that Scocco holds the key to unlocking England's most dogged defences.
Scocco lacks match fitness, having made the switch from Brazilian side Internacional, who are still in pre-season training.
The Black Cats will look ease the 28-year-old into action as he builds his fitness. Scocco made the bench last weekend, but did not feature as he watched his new side cruise to a comfortable 3-0 victory over bitter derby rivals Newcastle.
Poyet then opted not to involve the Argentinian in the side's reserve match against Newcastle, which also ended in victory for the Black Cats.
Despite his lack of match fitness and Premier League experience, Poyet believes that Sunderland have unearthed a real gem.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Poyet was full of praise for his new signing.
“Scocco is a different one because he’s got that quality to get between the lines,” he said. “We need to take it slowly with him because he’s not played much.
“He’s coming from a pre-season in Brazil so he needs games. So, if I get the chance, I’m going to give him time. We need to give him, football, football, football, but we will manage him in a different way. Obviously, we want him involved as soon as possible, but his fitness is a
factor though and his impact will be progressive.”
Although Sunderland have been in fine form in front of goal as of late, scoring 10 in their last four league matches, goals have been a problem this year with side averaging less than a goal a game.
Steven Fletcher is also now set for a lengthy spell on the treatment table with an achilles injury, so Scocco's arrival will be welcome for the Sunderland side.
Poyet believes that Scocco will prove a valuable asset against plucky sides like Stoke City, a team that Sunderland labored to beat 1-0. Scocco was present at the match, watching from the stands before signing for the club the next day on a two-and-a-half year deal.
Poyet feels that this was the kind of match that Scocco's attributes would have served the club well.
“Last week against Stoke, when they only had 10 men, he would have been perfect,” said Poyet.
“We could have put him in there up front and made the difference, but, unfortunately, he wasn’t there. He’s a clever, tricky player, good with the ball at his feet and he can be so dangerous on the attack. Stoke would have been much more wary about coming out in the way they did and with him playing and Stoke stretched he could easily have got us a goal or set one up.”
With the club currently just two points clear of the relegation zone, and facing Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final, Poyet will hope that he is right about Scocco, while the player will be looking to get in amongst the goals to help his new side beat the drop.
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