FORMER Sunderland striker and Hartlepool United loanee Ryan Noble has joined Burnley.
The 22-year-old has agreed a short-term deal at Turf Moor, hoping to prove over the next few months that he is worthy of a long-term stay.
And the Championship club have high hopes of the Millfield-born forward, having tracked him for more than a year in Under 21 Development games.
Earlier this month, Burnley expressed an interest in the player and Noble agreed to train with their young players, impressing enough to be offered a contract.
His decision will disappoint several lower league clubs hoping to entice the striker who was available on a free transfer after being released by Sunderland this summer.
Noble had several longer term offers on the table but felt the Burnley opportunity was just too good to turn down.
He will now hope to make a swift impression in what is his third taste of football at this level, having previously had unsuccessful loan spells at Watford and Derby.
In separate loan spells at Pools, he scored three goals in 16 starts overall but failed to scale the heights perhaps expected.
But the former England Under 19 striker – he scored one goal in six appearances - has never fulfilled the rich potential he showed as a prolific goalscorer at youth level with Sunderland.
He was a professional at the Stadium of Light from 2009-13 but made only five first-team appearances for the club, all as substitute.
His last involvement in a Sunderland game was in caretaker manager Eric Black’s only game in charge.
Noble came off the bench in the 87th minute of the Black Cats’ 2-1 defeat at Wolves – the two opposition goals ironically being scored by Steven Fletcher, a striker who was able to establish himself after his move to the Stadium of Light.
Now Noble will hope to show at Turf Moor that he has a genuine future in the professional game and that Sunderland did have a genuine talent on their books all the time.