Jeremain Lens has completed his £8million move to Sunderland, with the Dutch international penning a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
Winger Lens has been formally unveiled by Sunderland after successfully undergoing a medical to become the Black Cats’ biggest outlay of the summer so far.
Sunderland have spent several weeks in negotiations with Dynamo Kiev trying to agree a fee for Lens, but after making the breakthrough, the 27-year-old will now fly out to North America to join up with Dick Advocaat’s squad.
Both Advocaat and Lee Congerton had prioritised the capture of a new left winger this summer after a variety of players were shoehorned into that role last season.
Advocaat knows Lens from their time together at PSV Eindhoven, and he will offer the pace in the final third which Sunderland have been badly lacking over recent seasons.
“We have signed an international player and I am delighted to welcome him to Sunderland,” said Advocaat.
“He is a very well-known player in Europe and has played over 30 games for the Dutch national side, which shows his calibre.
“I have worked with him twice already, at PSV and AZ, so I know him well. He is fast and he has scored goals everywhere he has played so that will help the team.”
Sporting director Congerton added: “We’re absolutely delighted to sign a player of Jeremain’s quality, who has Champions League experience and is a regular for Holland, one of the world’s strongest national teams.
“He’s a direct and quick player with or without the ball and those characteristics are something we’ve been lacking as a side.”
Sunderland will now hope to add another three signings to the squad before the end of the transfer window, with money still available to Advocaat.
A centre-half and creative midfielder are at the top of the club’s hit-list, although as expected, ex-Sunderland loanee Stewart Downing won’t be filling the latter role with the England international on the verge of returning to Middlesbrough.
Downing – the subject of a bid from Sunderland last month – is due to undergo a medical with Boro after the Championship outfit agreed a fee with West Ham for the 30-year-old.
Sunderland – plus Downing’s former team-mates at the Stadium of Light – are thought to have been surprised by the midfielder’s decision to drop out of the Premier League, but he had his heart set on helping Boro back to the top flight.