Sunderland have completed the signing of Spanish defender Marcos Alonso on a 6-month loan deal, effective as of 1st January 2014.
The defender joins from Serie A high-fliers Fiorentina, where he moved to from Lancashire minnows Bolton Wanderers in the summer. Alonso started his career at Real Madrid, but failed to make a significant impact, with only one appearance for the first team, which came as late substitute.
Since joining La Viola, Alonso has similarly failed to make much of an impact, but it's worth noting the side are currently fourth in the Italian top division, and have a tough team to break into.
Alonso was voted Bolton's "Player Of The Season" in his final season with the side, cementing his place as a cult favourite among those who voluntarily visit the Reebok.
Alonson has his deficiencies. It's been noted that he's much better in attack than defence, but quite frankly so long as he isn't Andrea Dossena he should be able to do a relatively comfortable job for us, and hold down a regular starting place.
The game with Aston Villa may come too soon, we don't know at the moment, but if not he should make his debut against Carlisle United in the FA Cup at the weekend.