photo courtesy SAFC.com
Gardner is a Black Cat | Latest Sunderland News | Team & Transfer News | Sunderland AFC | Sunderland
Steve Bruce has completed the signing of Craig Gardner from Birmingham City.
The Solihull-born 24-year-old joins Sunderland on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee, becoming the Black Cats' third signing in just over 24 hours following the acquisitions of Connor Wickham and Ji Dong-Won...
He picked up a Carling Cup winners' medal and scored 10 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions during the campaign just ended, including a spectacular long-range strike against the Black Cats at St Andrew's in April.
Eight of those goals came in the Barclays Premier League, ranking the attack-minded player in the league's top ten midfielders in terms of goals scored.
I think this is a good signing for Sunderland and goes a long way towards replacing Jordan Henderson. We've been fans of Gardners since he was listed as a defender in the Y! game but playing attacking midfield. He had a brilliant start to last season, but as with Birmingham City as a whole, he faded as the year went along.
Coupled with some of their other signings, I would have to say that Sunderland is doing a really nice job of building a team of reasonably young players who still have a wealth of Premier League experience. With current players like Turner, Meyler, Campbell, Richardson and Bramble coming back to fitness Sunderland should be solidly mid-table again. Damning with faint praise, I know, but better than flirting with relegation.
I still worry that they're light in central midfield, with Lee Cattermole a liability rather than an asset, and on the left with Malbranque and KRich an ineffective duo and Bardsley a right-sided player. But maybe the aforementioned Myler or Riveros make their mark. Maybe Sessegnon settles into a wing role. Regardless, Bruce has pieces to play with coming into the new season.