Who is Darron Gibson? Sunderland's potential new midfielder profiled

Gibson is heading for Sunderland
Gibson is heading for Sunderland
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Sunderland are set to make a double swoop at David Moyes' old stomping ground in the next 24 hours, Darron Gibson likely to join Bryan Oviedo in making the switch to Wearside.

They'll join Jack Rodwell, Victor Anichebe, Steven Pienaar and Joleon Lescott in a squad now packed with players who have succeeded for Moyes in the past.

Here's what you need to know about the Irishman and where he'll fit in...

Why are Sunderland interested and what does he bring?

Quite simply, he'll add a body and experience to a midfield department that has been depleted by injuries this season.

Jan Kirchhoff and Lee Cattermole are long-term absentees while Yann M'Vila withdrawing from a pre-contract agreement left Sunderland short of yet another player they had hoped to be able to choose from.

In recent weeks they have had to play the likes of Jason Denayer and Donald Love in that area of the midfield, and so unsurprisingly have lacked a bit of vision and composure.

Sunderland's ball retention has been awful and undermined any attacking efforts.

That came to a head against Stoke recently, with experienced campaigners Charlie Adam and Glenn Whelan physically, technically and mentally on another level. They ran the game and showed the Black Cats the nous they were missing at this level.

Didier Ndong and Jack Rodwell have put it some decent displays when paired together but Rodwell's injury history means they can't be relied upon until the season is out.

Gibson is tenacious but also a good passer of the ball.

He adds some welcome experience and poise in the middle of the park, an international and former Manchester United man.

Moyes will also be looking to him to add leadership to what has been a very young team this year. He will expect Gibson to be one of those who leads the way.

This all comes with a significant caveat though, doesn't it?

That it certainly does.

Gibson's Everton career has been blighted by injury and this season he has made just two appearances, in the EFL Cup against Yeovil and the Checkatrade trophy against Blackpool.

That latter game was his last competitive appearance, on November 8th.

Quite clearly, asking him to lead a surge away from the relegation spots with so little football under his belt is a big ask. When asked about the 29-year-old in November, Ronald Koeman revealingly said: "He needs 90 minutes to be fit for the squad."

It is not yet clear what shape he is currently in, though he has not had a reported injury since picking up a groin strain in August of last year. More often than not, he has simply not been picked by Ronald Koeman, compounded by the emergence of young Tom Davies in midfield.

Last season he made 13 appearances in all competitions, 18 the season before that.

With that in mind it is worth revisiting David Moyes' last public discussion of the January window, when he warned fans that players who came in would not be able to make a 'big difference'.

Gibson offers depth, experience and competition.

After his efforts against Liverpool on January 2nd, Ndong is most likely the man Moyes will look to to lead his midfield until the end of the season. Gibson gives him another option as Jan Kirchhoff and Lee Cattermole continue their injury comebacks.