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Sunderland Snap Up Italian 'Keeper

Vito Mannone has joined Sunderland for a fee worth a reported £2m.

Steve Bardens

Sunderland have used some of the money made available by the sale of Simon Mignolet to Liverpool recently to snap up Arsenal's Italian goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

"Don Vito" as he was christened by Gunners fans has signed a two-year contract, though it is believe there is an in-built option to extend that by a further two years if he proves his worth.

Sunderland reportedly beat off competition from Cagliari for the former Italian Under-21 International, clinching his services for a fee that is officially undisclosed.

After signing, Manonne told the official website:

The potential [of the club] is incredible.

I have come from a big club but to be honest I don’t see any difference in the facilities.

From what I can see on my first day they are brilliant.

To have good facilities where you can work and improve is something every club wants to achieve.

The base is there and I am really happy to be here.

I waited a long time for an opportunity like Sunderland, and for me it is a great one.

I’m very excited. I am here to work hard and to show what I can do.

Of course, every player knows they have competition.

We live in a world of competition. I will work and do my best to be in the first eleven, and then the manager will decide.

All I can do is try to show what I am capable of.

Whilst the move has been met with some trepidation by Sunderland fans --mainly as he isn't foreign enough or unknown enough -- he should be able to provide decent back-up for Kieren Westwood.

Early in his career Mannone garnered a reputation for mistakes, however it's worth noting that he was still in his teens during an up and down spell at Barnsley.

Since then he has had other loan moves have shown he does have a decent enough level of talent to be a back-up goalkeeper in the Premier League. During two loan spells at Hull City he kept 17 clean sheets in 37 appearances, and also managed to keep 3 in 10 for Arsenal in the 2012/13 season.

Whilst the may have failed in a battle to overcome any of his adversaries for Arsenal's number one 'keeper, he was given an extended contract two years ago by Arsene Wenger, and has in total been on their books for seven years, so you'd think there is certainly something there to work with.

He'll be capable of providing solid competition for Westwood, who is now surely the new number one, as well as perhaps having something in the tank aged still only 25-years old.

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