Watford today confirmed they have completed the signing of goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon, after news broke last nightthat he was on the verge of a move to Vicarage Road.
The Romanian international joins Watford for an undisclosed fee after he signed a three-and-a-half year deal.
The 28-year-old signed for Sunderland in July 2014 to compete with Vito Mannone and had to wait for his chance as Mannone was the club's reigning player of the year but after the Italian started the season badly, culminating in the 8-0 defeat at Southampton and a 2-0 home reverse at the hands of Arsenal, Pantilimon was finally handed his Premier League debut as we won 3-1 at Crystal Palace.
Pantilimon looked assured for the rest of the season and looked set to be our first choice the foreseeable but after looking shaky for the majority of this season, Sam Allardyce gave chances to both Mannone and Jordan Pickford to stake a claim to be Sunderland's number one.
Although Mannone was solid enough when given the chance, the impressive performances by Pickford in away games at Arsenal and Tottenham look to have done enough to convince Allardyce that he could lose Pantilimon to make room on the wage bill for new arrivals.
We'll leave you with some highlights from Pantilimon's time at Sunderland but this move is a great show of faith in Pickford, who will hopefully cement his place as Sunderland's number one for years to come.