WES BROWN has welcomed the addition of Sebastian Coates to Sunderland’s defensive ranks - insisting the Black Cats needed extra strength in depth at the back.
Centre-half Coates is being given a gentle introduction to life at Sunderland after working on his fitness following his arrival on a season-long loan from Liverpool on transfer deadline day.
But the Uruguayan is earmarked to provide cover for veteran ex-Manchester United pair Brown and John O’Shea and could make his Black Cats bow in next week’s Capital One Cup third round tie against Stoke City.
Boss Gus Poyet was eager to boost his options at centre-half before the end of the transfer window after the departures of flops Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite.
Ideally, Poyet wanted to add an extra defender permanently too, with both Brown and O’Shea at the tail end of their highly-decorated careers.
But Brown believes Coates, who arrived at Liverpool with a lofty reputation when he joined in a £7million deal three years ago, will be an astute addition.
Brown told the Echo: “We need someone in there 100 per cent.
“He hasn’t trained much yet, but I’m sure he’ll fit in well.
“You can probably class Santi (Vergini) as an option as well.
“But we definitely needed someone in (at centre-half) and I’m sure once he starts training, he’ll fit in tremendously.”
While Coates watched last weekend’s draw against Spurs from the stands, fellow South American Ricky Alvarez was thrown straight into the starting XI for his Sunderland debut.
On-loan Inter Milan attacking midfielder Alvarez showed flashes of his ability against Spurs, although it was a tough baptism of fire with Sunderland on the back foot for long periods.
But Brown has been impressed by what he has seen from the Argentine international on the training ground over the last week.
The 34-year-old added: “He’s settled down well.
“He’s got great skill and I’m sure in a couple more games, he’ll show what he can do.
“He looks a very good player.”
We have launched a FREE football app covering Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United and Hartlepool United.
For all the latest news, gossip and match coverage straight to your mobile and tablet, download the Football Echo now from here: