Sunderland have sealed the transfer of Jan Kirchhoff, who arrives at the Stadium of Light from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The Black Cats are once more facing a fight to retain their status as a Premier League club, and are currently second-bottom of the standings and four points from safety. With 39 goals conceded in 20 matches, the Wearside outfit have the worst defensive record in the division, so it is no surprise that Allardyce has made a new centre-half his priority during the window.
Kirchhoff arrives at the Stadium of Light on an 18-month contract after Bayern agreed to sell him for an undisclosed fee, and he has been handed the number 27 shirt at his new club. Although the player struggled to make an impact at the Allianz Arena, he has enjoyed UEFA Champions League football whilst on loan at Schalke and could prove to be a shrewd acquisition.
“Jan has a very good pedigree,” Allardyce told the official club website. “He has experience of football at the highest level, including the Champions League. He has real versatility as a player, being comfortable in both the centre-back and midfield roles. He is desperately keen to experience the Premier League and our job now is to do everything we can to help him settle.”
Sunderland have a break from their league struggles this weekend when the FA Cup campaign begins, but it doesn’t get any easier as they travel to the capital to face holders Arsenal. Kirchhoff is not available for the clash at the Emirates Stadium, but he could make his debut when Allardyce takes his side to the Liberty Stadium to take on Swansea City on Wednesday night.
Meanwhile, it has also been confirmed that the club were looking at another central defender, this time Ivory Coast international Lamine Kone. Allardyce has revealed that he was in talks to sign the player after having an offer accepted by French club Lorient, but he said on Friday morning: “That has finished now, it’s broken down. Negotiations have now stopped.”