GUS Poyet will hope the signing of Wigan’s Jordi Gomez adds goals and guile to Sunderland’s midfield.
The 29-year-old Spaniard yesterday agreed a three-year deal with the Wearsiders after allowing his contract at the DW Stadium to run down.
And Poyet, a long-term admirer of the player, will hope the new acquisition brings an extra dimension to Sunderland’s midfield with his comfort on the ball as well as his ability to score goals.
Gomez scored 14 goals in 51 appearances on loan for Swansea City and 28 in 162 (50 of which were as substitute) for Wigan, and so undoubtedly poses a goal threat.
He’s also comfortable taking penalties – something which will be a bonus to Sunderland in the wake of Craig Gardner’s departure to West Brom.
The importance of a goalscoring central midfielder to the Black Cats cannot be under-estimated, with the likes of first-team regulars Lee Cattermole, Jack Colback, Liam Bridcutt and even Gardner not prolific in the centre of the park for Sunderland.
But just as important will be Gomez’s comfort on the ball and his ability to receive and retain the ball in tight situations as well as his ability to pick a pass.
Gomez started his career in Barcelona’s youth team in 2005 before making the short move across the Catalan city to Espanyol in 2007.
He only managed three Primera Division outings for Espanyol before joining Swansea on loan for the 2008/09 campaign, where his career began to flourish, netting 12 goals in 44 league appearances in the Championship under the management of Roberto Martinez.
He joined Wigan for £1.7million in 2009, with Martinez having moved north too, and enjoyed a successful spell, including helping to lift the FA Cup in 2013, before becoming Sunderland’s second signing in the space of 48 hours yesterday.
Gomez joins West Brom defender Billy Jones in moving to the Stadium of Light this week and, like Jones, the Spaniard is a Bosman free-signing.
It means that without spending on a transfer fee, Sunderland have attracted an experienced full-back and midfielder which fills the gaps left by departing Bosmans Phil Bardsley and Gardner.
The straight switches will also lower the Black Cats’ wage bill.