After Jonathan De Guzman declined overtures from the Black Cats, the club have moved swiftly to capture the signing of Ola Toivonen instead. The former PSV man has now officially joined on a season long loan from French side Rennes. The 29-year-old Sweden international will be utilised as an attacking midfielder by Advocaat although he can be deployed as a striker. It's perhaps that versatility that may have been key in Sunderland's decision to sign him. Speaking after the transfer was concluded Advocaat said:
"I worked with Ola at PSV so I know him well. He is a national team player with a lot of experience, an attacking midfielder who can score goals and is good in the air - he will bring something different to the team. Ola is a player who can score goals and that is important for the midfield because we had a little bit of a lack of that. He is a little bit nasty as a player and he is good in the air and has a good touch, so he is the type of player who we have missed."
Those with good memories will remember the former PSV man was linked with numerous Premier League teams a few years back. It was understood at the time that Liverpool, Norwich, Newcastle and the Black Cats were all keen. However he eventually found his way to Ligue One side Rennes for a fee believed to be around €4mil.
It's hoped there'll be an instant understanding between Advocaat and Toivonen, given they've worked together previously, in order to help the midfielder hit the ground running. Jeremain Lens should also provide a dash of familiarity for the new signing too as they both played in the same PSV side.
Should anyone doubt that Advocaat will be happy with this particular signing it's worth reiterating that he has talked very positively about the player in the past. While still at PSV Advocaat said:
"Toivonen is worth €14m. With all due respect, but if Ajax receive €8,5m for Vernon Anita and Twente get €15m or so for Luuk de Jong, then Ola is worth that much too."
Whilst the continued reliance on loan signings cannot be an approach that's sustainable for the club longterm let's hope the latest one has a successful season on Wearside. A positive campaign for Toivonen, in that attacking midfield role, may just mean it's a fruitful one for the whole team and that's all anyone wants at this stage.