Emmanuel Eboue’s trial outing for Sunderland got a thumbs-up from Under-21 boss Andy Welsh, despite the Black Cats suffering a costly defeat in their title bid.
Ex-Arsenal defender Eboue completed the full 90 minutes in the U21s’ 1-0 defeat to Leicester City last night, with Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce expected to make a decision on whether to hand the 32-year-old a short-term contract this week after watching him in action.
He showed a good attitude and he looked better as the game wore on.
Eboue’s lack of match fitness showed after he has been without a club since being released by Galatasary last summer.
But there were flashes of the Ivory Coast international’s pedigree during the second half, as he began to knock off the rust.
“I was talking to him and he was saying that’s the first 90 minutes he’s had in more than a year,” said Sunderland development coach Welsh.
“He showed a good attitude and he looked better as the game wore on. He found his feet.
“He’s been good around the dressing room with the younger players, helping them, so I’ve got no complaints.”
However, Eboue couldn’t prevent Sunderland falling behind with 15 minutes to go in a dire game after Leicester converted from the penalty spot, following a push from left-back Tommy Robson.
The loss leaves Sunderland two points behind table-toppers Manchester United in the race for the U21 crown after playing one extra game.
“I’m obviously disappointed with Tommy’s decision to get some contact with him because he was wrong-side and maybe should have just let the play continue,” added Welsh.
“We feel like we’ve been mugged in a lot of ways because we missed chances.
“But I don’t think overall we worked their goalkeeper enough.”