SUNDERLAND are hopeful Alfred N’Diaye will be given permission to boost Martin O’Neill’s injury-hit options for this weekend’s visit of West Ham.
France Under-21 midfielder N’Diaye became Sunderland’s first signing of the January window yesterday when he completed his £4million switch from Turkish outfit Bursaspor on a three-and-a-half year deal.
But the Black Cats are still sweating on the paperwork needed for N’Diaye to make his debut in Saturday’s Stadium of Light clash against the Hammers.
The Premier League must receive the necessary international clearance from the Turkish FA before tomorrow’s noon deadline, although it is not envisaged that N’Diaye will miss out on his Black Cats bow.
Certainly, O’Neill is eager to have another player at his disposal after Carlos Cuellar and Danny Rose joined John O’Shea, Lee Cattermole and Wes Brown on the treatment table.
Both Cuellar and Rose are major doubts to face West Ham after suffering hamstring injuries at Bolton last weekend, while Stephane Sessegnon is continuing to undergo treatment on the ankle problem which forced him to miss the FA Cup third round clash.
With Jack Colback likely to take Rose’s position at left-back and fellow midfielder Craig Gardner potentially returning to right-back at the expense of Phil Bardsley, the acquisition of 6ft 2in N’Diaye in the engine room is a timely one.
And N’Diaye is eager to get his Sunderland career up and running after training with his team-mates for the first time at the Academy of Light yesterday.
“Everybody tells me the Sunderland fans are crazy. They are very good fans, fantastic fans,” N’Diaye told the club website.
“I hope it can be possible to play on Saturday and I want to see the special atmosphere in the stadium.
“I am very happy to sign for Sunderland and play in the Premier League. It has been my dream since I was young.
“For me, the Premier League is the best championship in the world. I have watched it a lot.”
O’Neill had been keen to add a physical presence to his side during the transfer window, particularly in central midfield, with Cattermole sidelined until next month.
N’Diaye, who has been handed the number four shirt, will fill that brief after impressing during his 18 months at Bursaspor following his £2.5m move from French outfit Nancy in the summer of 2011.
“Alfred is a strong, powerful young player and as such can offer us more strength in depth,” said O’Neill.
“He will give us options and I’m delighted that we have been able to bring him to the club.”
O’Neill is keen to add further recruits this month, as Sunderland continue their pursuit of Swansea’s Chester-le-Street-born striker Danny Graham.
The former Middlesbrough man was relegated to the bench for last night’s Capital One Cup semi-final at Chelsea, with Sunderland eager to strike a deal worth around £5million for the 27-year-old.
But Swansea are unlikely to sanction his exit until they can make progress on a potential replacement, with ex-Sunderland striker Kenywne Jones on boss Michael Laudrup’s shortlist.
O’Neill also wants to boost his defensive ranks, with Titus Bramble and Matt Kilgallon – both out-of-contract in the summer – the only fit centre-halves currently at his disposal.
Reports in the Middle East yesterday linked Sunderland with Senegalese centre-half Abdul Kader Mangane, currently plying his trade for Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Hilal after leaving French side Rennes during the summer.