Speculation has been rife today about which free agent Sunderland would be signing to be backup to Jermain Defoe and, well, very few will have been surprised to see Victor Anichebe holding the Sunderland shirt this evening.
Speaking to SAFC.com, the Nigerian international said:
I’m really happy to be here at a great club.
I have a lot of good friends here and everyone knows that I know the manager really well.
He brought me through as a young player and was a big factor in me coming here.
I had a few options in England and Europe but the manager was a huge pull for me. He knows me inside out and I feel like he can get the best out of me.
I can't say that I am particularly disappointed about this signing - though Victor isn't what you would call a prolific goalscorer, he does offer us something different up front, he is of good age, has plenty of Premier League experience and has worked with David Moyes before. It makes sense with our options now limited to just signing players that are free agents.
Nicklas Bendtner was the player that most Sunderland supporters wanted to see signed but his general attitude to training and life off the pitch leaves little to be desired and, likewise, Emmanuel Adebayor's best days are well behind him.
It gives us piece of mind that we have backup for Jermain Defoe, and it even gives David Moyes the chance now to play two up front should he wish. Anichebe played the majority of his career under our manager when at Everton so you'd like to think that there is an understanding there, and perhaps there is hope that Moyes knows just how to get the best out of him.
In an ideal world Jermain Defoe will stay fit and keep scoring goals until January when we can look at other strikers, plus players like Joel Asoro and Duncan Watmore can hopefully contribute too. Anichebe is there to give us options and provide something different should we need him. No harm done.
So yeah, all things considered this isn't a bad deal for us. His contract only runs until next summer, and though we would have much preferred to have signed a striker during the transfer window you'd find it hard to sign a better forward than Anichebe from the players that are out of contract currently.