GUS Poyet says new signing Marcos Alonso will bring real competition for places in Sunderland’s defence.
And the head coach says he wants three or four new signings to join the 23-year-old Fiorentina left-back in strengthening the Black Cats’ squad by the end of the January transfer window.
The arrival of the Spanish full-back – who was on Bolton’s books from 2010 until this summer – will mean the club finally has two specialist left-backs at the club, with Andrea Dossena having joined from Napoli in the last window.
Alonso’s arrival on a loan deal until the end of the season means Poyet has two players challenging at left-back, Phil Bardsley and Ondrej Celustka now contesting the right-back position while Valentin Roberge and Modibo Diakite can deputise for first-choice centre-halves John O’Shea and Wes Brown.
“It is good to have competition and this will help us,” Poyet told the Echo. “I can confirm Marcos will be with us for the rest of the season on loan, which is something very important for us.
“I was always looking for a player at left-back or on the left side so I’m delighted he’s here.
“It’s competition for Andrea who is the only recognised left-back we have here.
“But it is important to say they are different sorts of players – Marcos and Andrea – so it helps us with our options.”
Poyet is thrilled to have the Alonso deal over the line so early in the window but says he does not know how quick and easy other transfers may be.
He has revealed though that while he is looking at a small number of additions, he expects them all to be able to make a quick impact on Sunderland’s season.
“The problem with putting a number on players is that I would like maybe three or four more but it’s always so unpredictable,” he explained.
“The reality is, it’s almost pointless saying so at the outset because things can change so much.
“Initially though, three or four new players is the idea.
“Almost as important is the fact we want them in quickly, and we them to be able to hit the ground running.”
Just as many players are expected to leave the Stadium of Light in January, as arrive.
But Poyet insists none are on the verge of leaving ahead of the official opening of the window tomorrow.
“We haven’t had any offers for our players as things stand and any clubs who are interested will need to make an offer because we are not going to advertise them,” he said.
“Every single player here is under contract as things stand and you need to respect that – we won’t be throwing names out publicly.
“We will consider what interest we get.”