Aston Villa v SAFC

Mandron gets taste of senior football

by Stuart Vose

Debutant makes cameo appearance during Villa defeat.

Sunderland’s 6-1 defeat at Aston Villa on Monday night featured a senior debut for young striker Mikael Mandron.

The French frontman, who is just 18 and in the second year of his scholarship on Wearside, replaced Danny Graham four minutes from time at Villa Park.

He came close to marking his debut with a goal with a close-range header from a corner which was well saved by Villa keeper Brad Guzan.

Mandron becomes the seventh-youngest player to represent Sunderland at senior level since the inception of the Premier League.

The 6’3” frontman joined the club from Bolougne in summer 2012 following a successful trial and scored six goals in 24 appearances during his first season.

He began the 2012-13 campaign in fine form, netting 12 goals in 13 games and earning a promotion to the under-21 squad.

A further 16 games followed under the tutelage of Kevin Ball before Mandron was handed squad number 30 and a place on the bench as an unused substitute against Manchester United.

Now the unassuming Frenchman has taken the next step, making his debut at the age of 18 years and 200 days having watched the games against Chelsea, Newcastle and Everton from the bench.

Take a look at Mikael’s player profile.