Sunderland finally delved into the striker market this summer and came back with the solid if unspectacular addition of Louis Saha on a one-year contract, having been a free agent all summer long following release by Tottenham Hotspur.
The former French international returns to the North East having begun his English football adventure on loan at Newcastle United from Metz. An impressive turn of form saw him move around from Fulham to Manchester United, to Everton and most recently to Tottenham Hotspur for a brief but productive spell.
On his arrival that the club, manager Martin O'Neill said to the clubs official site;
Louis is a striker whose abilities have been proven at the very highest level and he brings with him a raft of experience of top-flight football. I'm sure he will be a great addition to our squad in an area we recognise needs strengthening and I'm delighted we have been able to complete the deal ahead of our first game of the season.
I happen to be pleased with this signing. Saha brings experience to a very young forward line, in which 24-year old Fraizer Campbell is the most senior striker. Saha certainly won't be an every week starter, but if we can get twenty or so games out of him as we have done with Wes Brown, it will be worth the investment.
Much has been made of Saha's injury problems in the past, but it's not something we should really be overly concerned about. Last season across his spells on Merseyside and in North London he managed to appear 32 times, 22 of those from the start.
It also most certainly won't be the end of our chase for Steven Fletcher either. It was always thought, even back in June when murmurs of Saha coming first started that he would be a complimentary addition rather than a main one.
If Saha can keep him self reasonably fit (as he has done of late) as well as act as a mentor to some of the younger strikers such as Ji Dong-Won and Ryan Noble it would be a big bonus. Anyone who has read his excellent autobiography will know he's a very articulate and intelligent person, so passing on knowledge should be second nature.
Overall though, the feeling is that this is a very good move for all concerned. Welcome to the club, Louis Saha.