After signing Emanuele Giaccherini from Juventus for a fee believed to be £6.5m, this has to be one of the best pieces of business in the transfer market so far.
He is a highly-rated Italian, who constantly makes the squad for his country. He is deemed to be one of the players that Italian manager Cesare Prandelli feels is vital to the team being successful in the 2014 World Cup.
Therefore Sunderland have pulled off a real coup in managing to sign a two-time Serie A winner, who at 28 years old is entering the peak years in his career.
He is a player that has struggled in the last year or so to nail down a starting spot for Juventus and only managed to make 17 appearances in the league last season. Although it must be noted that Juventus manager Antonio Conte did not want to lose this player but needed to make room in his squad for new signings, so sanctioned the sale to Sunderland.
However, in the recent Confederations Cup we saw what this player is capable of when given enough time on the pitch. He was very impressive and, in my opinion, the Italian's best player in the tournament.
It enabled many football fans to see what sort of player he is and what skills he possesses. If I was a Sunderland fan, I’d be highly excited at the thought of this player being in my team next season.
His main position is to play out wide on either flank but he is also able to play just off the striker in the pockets of space between midfield and defence. He is quite a diminutive figure in terms of his stature but what he lacks in height he definitely makes up for in skill.
He is technically a brilliant player in terms of his passing and crossing ability, coupled with his speed and trickery when he is on the ball, which means he is any defender's nightmare.
This trickery and speed means that he can create something out of nothing and is the type of player that will keep fans on the edge of their seats. He isn’t necessary a player that’s going to score lots of goals for the club, but what he does bring is an attacking threat and with that will come a multitude of assists for Sunderland.
Next season I feel he will line up as part of a three-man attacking midfield behind lone striker Steven Fletcher. In this attacking midfield role he will be accompanied by Stephane Sessegnon, who will probably play a central role and Adam Johnson, who will play predominantly from the right-hand side.
However, Giaccherini might move to a central role as there have been reports that Sunderland are looking to sell Sessegnon, although I feel to sell Sessegnon would be a silly move by the club.
Presuming Sessegnon stays this would mean that Giaccherini will be expected to play out wide on the left, but don’t be surprised if he decides to cut in or these three players interchange their positions during the match.
Having these attacking players in the squad should be a sign of optimism for Sunderland and I don’t expect them to be in a relegation battle like last year, with minimum expectation being a mid-table finish.
Overall this signing is a sign of ambition for the club and shows that Paolo Di Canio is attempting to put his stamp on the club at the same time.
He is a player well suited to the Premier League and will bring a winning mentality to the squad after spending two years at Juventus. He is a player who I feel could be battling for a place in a top-four team, never mind for a team who battled relegation last season - and he is, therefore, easily the signing of the season so far.
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