Sunderland completed their second signing of the summer transfer window on Wednesday, as they confirmed the arrival of midfielder Corry Evans on a permanent deal.
Evans had been a free agent this summer, after leaving Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season following the expiry of his contract with the club, having made 219 appearances in all competitions during an eight-year spell at Ewood Park.
The Northern Ireland international has now put pen to paper on a two-year contract at Sunderland – who have the option to extend by a further 12 months.
That effectively securing his future at The Stadium of Light until the end of the 2023/24 season.
Having missed out on promotion via the League One play-offs last season, Sunderland will be looking to go one better this time around.
As a result, Evans’ promotion winning experience at this level with Blackburn in 2017/18 will no doubt be a welcome addition to Lee Johnson’s side.
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You imagine therefore, that Johnson will already be thinking about how to include the 30-year-old in his side for next season, and there is one clear option for him when it comes to that decision.
Throughout his career, Evans has operated in a holding midfield role, and that is where you would expect to find him for the Black Cats.
Evans combative nature means that position in the centre of the park is one he is able to operate in effectively, with his strength in the tackle and willingness to put his foot in for loose balls making him a useful shield in front of the defence behind him.
His ability to distribute the ball forward also means can be a useful source of supply for the attack, but with just 11 goals and nine assists in 317 career appearances to date, playing him in a more advanced role does feel like it would be something of a waste.
Indeed, with Max Power, Josh Scowen and Grant Ledbitter all having left the club this summer, it does seem as though Sunderland are in need of some cover right at the heart of their midfield, and Evans, is certainly a player who can provide that.