Free agent Anthony Reveillere joined Sunderland after spending more than two months of the new season without a club, but has since made a strong impression in his short few weeks on Wearside.
Reveillere has been an assured presence in the side despite missing a fair chunk of the campaign following his summer release by Italian side Napoli, allied to the fact he's been forced to feature on his unfavoured left-hand side.
The ex-France star has just celebrated his 35th birthday, yet seems full of energy on the pitch despite his advancing years and is currently appearing an able replacement for the injured Patrick van Aanholt.
Vast experience gained from a decade at Lyon, plus spells with Valencia and Napoli, certainly marked him out as a leading candidate for a deal when Gus Poyet decided to dip his toes into the murky waters of the out-of-contract market.
It often represents a big gamble when plucking players from unemployed obscurity, with the former Rennes man Reveillere no different initially.
However, the 20-cap Frenchman showcased his worth from the off and may well prove to be an immovable object from the starting line-up once van Aanholt makes his projected return from shoulder surgery sometime in January.
A man with five Ligue 1 titles to his name, Reveillere delivers a significant slice of know-how and his passing, positional play and tenacity along that left flank combine to strengthen the Sunderland back-four substantially.
Due to being in his mid-30s, he will only be a short to medium-term solution to the lack of cover at full-back, with his Black Cats agreement due to run out at the end of the season.
At this point, though, he's operating like a footballer at least five years his junior and is showing absolutely no signs of adverse effects caused by summer inactivity.
If he keeps up the form he has displayed so far, the versatile defender can almost certainly look forward to penning an extension to his stay at the Stadium of Light come next summer. Furthermore, his free transfer will turn out to be the bargain of the season by May if he maintains that outstandingly high level.