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Sunderland sign Forest Green Rovers midfielder Carl Winchester

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Sunderland announce the first signing of the 2021 January transfer window as they swoop for 27-year-old Forest Green Rovers captain Carl Winchester!

Forest Green Rovers v Crawley Town - Sky Bet League Two Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images

Sunderland have made their first signing under the new Lee Johnson era, as Carl Winchester makes the move north from Forest Green Rovers where he was club captain, to sign for the Black Cats.

The 27-year-old central midfield player has signed a two and a half deal at the Stadium of Light where he links up with former manager Lee Johnson once again after playing for him at Oldham Athletic.

Winchester made around half of his 120 appearances for Oldham Athletic under Johnson where he also gained his single cap for Northern Ireland to date, so will no doubt be eager to link up with the new Sunderland manager once again.

Tranmere Rovers v Forest Green Rovers - Sky Bet League Two - Play-Off - First Leg - Prenton Park
Carl Winchester in action for Forest Green Rovers during last years League Tow play-off semi-final against Tranmere Rovers
Photo by Barrington Coombs/PA Images via Getty Images

The Belfast-born playmaker spent a year at Cheltenham Town after leaving Boundary Park before joining Forest Green Rovers in 2018, and was one of the more impressive players plying their trade in League Two with manager Mark Cooper previously tipping him for a move to the Championship.

With Winchester’s two-year deal at The New Lawn expiring at the end of the season, it is expected that the undisclosed fee exchanging between the two clubs will be modest, as clubs prepare to strengthen their squads during possibly the most difficult and strangest transfer windows since their introduction.

Sunderland fans will no doubt be uplifted that the club appear to be open for business during the current window and have begun in earnest to strengthen the squad in an attempt to make ground on the top six.

Bolton Wanderers v Forest Green Rovers - Sky Bet League Two
Carl Winchester has signed for Sunderland on a two and a half year deal
Photo by Chris Donnelly/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images