Sunderland young gun Mikael Mandron is ready for a loan switch if Paolo Di Canio decides he needs more first team football.
The Black Cats have high hopes for the 18-year-old, who was promoted to the first-team dressing room over the summer and spent the entire close season with the senior professionals.
A loan switch is the sensible option to prepare him for the next step in his nascent career and Di Canio is understood to be mulling over his next move for the promising striker.
The Journal understands there has already been interest from Scotland in taking the player, and League One Shrewsbury Town have made an enquiry about signing the striker.
Both were knocked back as the Sunderland transfer team concentrated on brokering the deals that would complete Di Canio’s self-proclaimed “revolution”.
They may now be back on the agenda, though, as the club begins to settle after a whirlwind summer of activity.
Having signed Fabio Borini on deadline day Di Canio has options up front and may decide that a temporary move is the best option to toughen up the 6ft 4ins forward.
If that happens, Mandron will be happy to accept the chance to prove himself.
“I will just see what happens with a loan or anything like that,” he said.
“At the moment I am just concentrating on what is happening here.
“I am concentrating on my football – if a loan happens then I will give everything there but if not I will concentrate on learning as much as I can and trying to take any opportunity that comes my way.” Having signed from Bolougne in 2011, Mandron has made swift progress through the youth-team ranks at Sunderland, and made two senior appearances last season as a substitute.
He featured in pre-season too but with the signings of Jozy Altidore and Borini – as well as the return to fitness of Steven Fletcher – opportunities are likely to be limited, even in the Capital One Cup.
Mandron is certainly not complaining and is grateful to Di Canio for the guidance he has shown the youngster since coming to the club.
Unlike predecessor Martin O’Neill, the Italian head caoch has shown a willingness to embrace the club’s younger players if he thinks they have got ability.
Mandron said: “It’s going to be a big season. I’ve done the whole pre-season with the first team and it was a great experience. It’s going to help me and it’s going to help me massively this season.
“It’s great for me that I’m in this position and I just feel lucky to be involved with the first team. I feel privileged that the manager has faith in me to include me in the first-team squad.
“My attitude is that I will just learn every day, learn from the lads and the manager who has already given me a lot of guidance and advice.
“I’m sure it is going to be great for my future and for my career.”
Sunderland’s squad was strengthened by the signing of Liverpool’s Borini but the loss of Stephane Sessegnon – who signed for West Brom in a £6m deal – has left supporters split. As revealed in The Journal back in June, Di Canio was always willing to sell the player as he looks to build a forward line around Fletcher.
The Scotland forward – who was not included in the national squad to face Belgium and Macedonia – is delighted to be back.
“It’s definitely important; I’d only trained three times with the team (in the build-up to the game),” he said.
“Now I can get a few more sessions under my belt and hopefully grab some more goals.”