Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce claims the signing of Lamine Kone will help strengthen his side’s defence as they look to maintain their Premier League status in the remainder of the season.
Allardyce has already bolstered his backline this month with the signing of Bayern Munich defender Jan Kirchhoff and veteran former Newcastle goalkeeper Steve Harper, but he had made Kone one of his top priorities.
Having finally sealed a deal to sign the 26-year-old Ivorian stopper on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee from French side Lorient, he expressed his satisfaction at the business he has done so far at the Stadium of Light in this January window.
“Strengthening our defensive options was a priority for us and Lamine is a player that has impressed me when I’ve seen him play,” Allardyce told Sunderland’s official website.
“He is big and strong, attributes you need to play in central defence in the Premier League, and his arrival will give us healthy competition for places in a key position.”
The Black Cats are now believed to be looking to see off competition from West Ham and Aston Villa as they attempt to sign Arsenal full-back Mathieu Debuchy for the remainder of the season.
The 19th-placed Wearsiders, who have also brought in former Hull City striker Dame N’Doye this month, are four points adrift of safety in the Premier League and are 1.20 to be relegated.
They host Manchester City at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday and are 6.50 to win, while title-chasing City are 1.50 to win with the draw is 4.33.