Former Sunderland forward Kevin Phillips has insisted that Alex Pritchard will be a quality signing for the Black Cats following his arrival at the Stadium of Light.
Pritchard was allowed to leave Huddersfield Town at the end of last season when his contract came to an end after a difficult few years with the Terriers.
There had been reports that there was interest in the attacker from the likes of Birmingham City with him a player with still a lot to offer despite his struggles over the last few seasons.
However, Sunderland announced on Friday that they had won the race for Pritchard’s signature and agreed to sign him on a free transfer and handed him a two-year deal at the Stadium of Light. The 28-year-old will now be aiming to get his career back on track with Lee Johnson’s side in the third tier next season.
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Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips suggested that Pritchard is a player with a lot of technical quality and that he should be a good addition to the squad. He also believes it might take him some time to adapt to life in League One, but insisted he would turn out to be a good signing.
He said: “Yeah, it’s great business.
“Especially on a free transfer, he’s a good, quality player.
“Technically he’s very good, he could turn out to be a really good signing.
“It’s whether he can adapt to that life in League One straight away, sometimes it’s difficult.
“I have no qualms over his qualities, we’ve seen that over the years. That’s a good signing to be honest.”
It is difficult to argue with Phillips on this one. Pritchard has technical quality that is far above League One level but he is a player that is in need of getting his career back on track after a poor period at Huddersfield.
A move down to the third tier should enable him to once again become the key man in a side in the attacking third and that is the sort of role he thrives within.
Johnson should be an ideal manager to get the best from him on a consistent basis next term and if he can do that then he is capable of producing a lot of goals and assists for the Black Cats.
He will also take some of the creative burden away from Aiden McGeady and perhaps give opponents something different to think about.
This transfer seems to be right for both Prictard and Sunderland at this stage and it could well prove to be a bargain signing if he can re-find his best form at the Stadium of Light. You would expect him to be able to adapt fairly swiftly to life in the third tier and if that happens then he should become a fans’ favourite with his quality.