Partnership excites Bruce

Black Cats boss hopes Gyan will ease burden on Bent

Bent: Joined by Gyan

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is hoping new signing Asamoah Gyan can lighten the goalscoring burden on Darren Bent.

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Ghana striker Gyan recently completed his record £13million-plus move to the Stadium of Light and came off the bench to score on his debut against Wigan at the weekend.

The Black Cats have relied on Bent to fire in the goals since his move from Tottenham, and the 26-year-old hit the back of the net 24 times in the Premier League last season.

Gyan, 24, could earn his first Sunderland start when the Wearsiders host Arsenal on Saturday, and Bruce believes he will be the perfect foil for Bent.

"We have brought in another guy to give him a hand," he said.

"It looks a very fruitful partnership, I hope, but certainly Darren has contributed massively over the last 12 months.

"Since he walked through the door, he has scored goal after goal.

"We have had the privilege of watching him now over 12 months and he is a natural goalscorer."

Bent's form in front of goal earned him a place in the England squad for the recent Euro 2012 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Switzerland.

He found the net against the Swiss in Basel and Bruce believes he could become a regular name in the Three Lions side, despite missing out on the World Cup squad this summer.

He added: "Darren could easily have sulked and gone away and moped, but he has come back and made sure he has given himself every opportunity again, which is terrific.

"Now with Jermain Defoe missing, maybe it might be his chance."