Sunderland boss explains Pierre Ekwah swoop as details of West Ham United deal confirmed

Sunderland have completed a deal to make Pierre Ekwah their first signing of the January transfer window.

The Black Cats have been in talks with West Ham United over a deal for much of this month and after a breakthrough over the weekend he has joined on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.

Ekwah, a versatile midfielder, has agreed a long-term deal that runs until the summer of 2027.

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The 21-year-old is highly rated but struggled to break into the first-team set up and his potential availability put several Championship clubs on alert ahead of the window.

Sunderland have signed West Ham United midfielder Pierre Ekwah

The Black Cats won the race, which included Stoke City, and head coach Tony Mowbray said he was a player who would ‘add something different’ to his midfield.

Ekwah will be in contention to make his debut when Sunderland face Fulham in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend.

“We are delighted to get the deal done and welcome Pierre to Sunderland,” Mowbray said.

"He is a player we have been monitoring for some time, and we believe he will add something different to the dynamic of our midfield. Having met him, he has a brilliant personality – he wants to get better and show he can play first-team football. He brings a level of physicality and we’re really looking forward to working with him.”

Ekwah is a former France u20 international who spent three years in Chelsea’s academy before making the switch to West Ham United.

He scored and assisted in his final U21 appearance against Manchester United over the weekend.