SUNDERLAND's deadline day decision to allow Eliezer Mayenda to join Hibs on loan until the end of the season came as something of a surprise for two reasons.

Firstly, the fact the Black Cats had failed in their efforts to bolster their forward line; secondly, only a week earlier head coach Michael Beale had admitted a loan exit might be on the cards but said it would be Hemir rather than Mayenda who would potentially be on the move.

That view changed in the final days of the window. As things stand, Beale thinks Mayenda is more suited to playing off the flank than through the middle as a central striker and Sunderland's squad is now stacked with widemen, so the hope is the teenager will benefit from some game-time in Scotland that would have been hard to come by in the second half of the season on Wearside.

As for Hemir, he'll likely continue as a fringe figure in the remaining months of the campaign, but Beale has seen promising signs for the future from the 20-year-old, who scored for the Under-21s earlier this week.

"It's a big number the No.9 at Sunderland, at a young age, it's the expectation that comes with it," said the head coach of the summer recruit who is still waiting for his first Sunderland goal.

"When I see him train every day his finishing is very good. There are other areas he has to improve for certain. He's young, I think he's certainly a player for the future. I put him on recently and he did quite well. He made me think.

"Mayenda is a bit younger and we felt it was right for him to go out. In giving one or two players the opportunity to go out, when the injuries come we are tight. We trained with 18 today, that's what we've got.

"Somebody had to stay in and we feel at this moment in time that Semedo, Rusyn and Burstow are the right three to lead our line, where Mayenda at this moment at a younger age will probably play off the right. I have Abdoullah playing well, I have Pat, Romaine was coming in, so it made sense."


Sunderland will monitor Mayenda closely at Hibs, where Nectar Triantis is also spending the second half of the season.

Beale said: "Nectar has just gone and played two 90 minutes in four or five days, that's given him massive oxygen.

"We're watching that with a view of Nectar coming back in the summer and having the opportunity to play here.

"It's a fine juggling act, you need to keep as much in-house but you need to know those in-house are getting enough out of the programme. It's never an exact science."