Sunderland’s summer transfer business is up and running after defender Brendan Galloway joined on a season-long loan deal from Everton.
The pacy 21-year-old left-back, who can also play in central defence, is new manager Simon Grayson’s first signing and strengthens the Everton contingent at the club.
Galloway, set to be joined on Wearside by Everton team-mates Tyias Browning and Aiden McGeady, will link up again with former Toffees Darron Gibson and Bryan Oviedo.
Sunderland are understood to have beaten off strong competition from other clubs to land Galloway, who is close friends with Sunderland forward Duncan Watmore. The pair have both represented England at Under-21 level.
Versatile Galloway, who has made 20 Premier League appearances for Everton, has also represented England at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-19 levels.
He almost joined Newcastle United on loan at the start of last season but instead opted to further his development at West Bromwich Albion.
Galloway only made five appearances during an unsuccessful spell at The Hawthorns but will hope to make a much bigger impact at the Stadium of Light this season.
He is very highly thought of at Everton, having moved to Goodison Park from MK Dons in the summer of 2014, and will provide competition in defence for Sunderland.
While at MK Dons, the former trainee made a name for himself aged just 15, when he became League One club’s youngest first-team player ever in November 2011, making his debut against Nantwich Town in the FA Cup.
Sunderland face Bury away tomorrow night in the club’s first pre-season friendly and Galloway could be involved at Gigg Lane.
He is yet to meet his new team-mates as the rest of the Sunderland first-team and Under-23 squads have been in Austria this week, taking part in a training camp.
Grayson has been impressed with the workrate as the players look to build their fitness levels ahead of a gruelling 46-game Championship campaign.
They are due back on Wearside today ahead of final preparations for the game at Gigg Lane (7.30pm kick-off).
“It has been very good and the players have enjoyed it so far,” explained Grayson.
“There is no easy way of doing it, it is a mixture of fitness and football work – out on the bikes every morning to get them going.
“All-round, it has been very good, the past few days it has been very warm, the first couple of days it was more what we are accustomed to in the North East with the rain and the wind.
“Overall, it has been a very good trip and the people here have looked after us very well.
“The players have come back fit – it is never easy doing pre-season – but you have to work hard as it gives you a base for the rest of the season.
“Once you get into the games, the players can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
“Everything we have asked the players to do, they have given it their maximum.
“I have been very pleased with them.”