French international midfielder Yann M'Vila has joined the club from Russian side Rubin Kazan on a season long loan.
M'Vila, who made his name at Ligue 1 side Stade Rennes, has bolstered Dick Advocaat's options in the centre of midfield and can certainly be viewed as a 'next level' signing.
After a spell last season on loan at Inter Milan, M'Vila found himself at the centre of a dispute between Kazan and Dinamo Moscow which saw a move to the latter club fall through, alerting Sunderland to his availability this week. M'Vila - who has played twenty-two times for Les Bleus - is very much a defence-minded midfield playmaker with a superb range of passing and adds much needed physicality and athleticism to a Sunderland midfield in dire need of such characteristics.
Often viewed as temperamental, M'Vila himself comes with some baggage but is looking forward to enjoying a fresh start on Wearside and he can't wait to get started. He told SAFC.com:
"I’m very happy to be a Sunderland player. I had a very good feeling training with the team; every player welcomed me and the feeling was very good with them so I’m excited for the start of the season. I’ve also wanted to play in the Barclays Premier League for a long time so I’m very happy to be here."
Sporting director Lee Congerton added:
"Yann is a player who is highly regarded by a number of the elite clubs across Europe, playing for his national team of France from a young age. The Premier League presents a fresh challenge for him, its one I know he is relishing and we are delighted to welcome him to the club."
Personally speaking I'm really excited about this signing. He's an instant upgrade on the likes of Liam Bridcutt, Jack Rodwell and Jordi Gomez and comes with a pedigree that not often befits the typical Sunderland signing. If he gets back to enjoying his football and playing on a huge stage this could be a massive signing for the club in a year where progression is vital. With the deal a one year loan with an option to buy at the end should we choose to take it up, it's really a no lose situation for the club and, well, a bit of a coup. Fingers crossed that M'Vila can have the impact we know he is capable of having.