NEW SIGNING Will Buckley will inject some much-needed pace into Sunderland’s ranks, believes Gus Poyet.
Buckley today put the finishing touches to a three-year deal at the Stadium of Light after Poyet’s former club Brighton accepted a fee believed to be around £2.5million for the winger, although neither club have disclosed the figure.
Sunderland have been pursuing Buckley ever since Poyet was appointed as head coach last October, but they have been forced to play a waiting game after Brighton rejected a bid in the January transfer window for the 24-year-old.
But Buckley, who will be eligible for Saturday’s Premier League opener at West Brom, has now got his move to the top flight, with Poyet glad to have addressed what he felt was a clear discrepancy in Sunderland’s ranks.
“Will is a player with something that we’ve been missing for a while – pace,” Poyet told the club website.
“He is very direct and can create things with speed and by going past people. He can take you up the pitch on his own.
“Will can play anywhere across the front three and is a great addition for us.
“From the first day he arrived at Brighton to the last day when we left, he kept improving and doing things better.
“He’s always confident he’ll create something for the team and will be very important for us.”
Buckley takes Sunderland’s tally of summer signings to seven and he won’t be the last arrival at the Stadium of Light before the September 1 transfer deadline.
Sunderland’s £14m bid for Fabio Borini remains on the table, while Poyet is also hoping to boost his options in central midfield and at the back.
The other piece of priority business on Sunderland’s agenda is a new deal for Connor Wickham after the Black Cats rejected bids from West Ham earlier this week.
Sunderland remain determined to keep Wickham at the Stadium of Light despite contract talks yet to reach a positive resolution for the striker, who is in the final 12 months of his current deal.
But while Hammers boss Sam Allardyce didn’t mention Wickham by name today, he did suggest that the club have moved on to other targets.
“It’s looking more like that player is going to be from abroad now rather from within this country,” he said.