Sam Allardyce says new boy Jan Kirchhoff wants to prove himself at Sunderland after becoming the first signing of his tenure.
The signing of Kirchhoff has been confirmed by Sunderland, with the centre-half penning an 18-month deal after arriving in a £750,000 move from Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich.
Kirchhoff – who trained with Sunderland this morning – has endured a frustrating time with injuries over recent seasons, with his only outing for Bayern this season coming as a late substitute in the German Cup last month.
But Allardyce believes Kirchhoff is hungry to prove himself in the Premier League, with the arrival of the 25-year-old signalling the end of Sunderland’s pursuit of fellow centre-halves Lamine Kone and Steven Caulker.
Allardyce said: “You are not going to get a player from Bayern Munich who’s played a lot of games, let’s face it.
“We have to look at what he’s done in the past – at Schalke on loan and at Mainz; look at how big an influence he had after starting at a young age.
“We’ve got a frustrated player who wants to play football, whose decided that he wants to come and join the fight against relegation.
“He’s looking forward to playing in the Premier League and has wanted to come and play here.
“He hasn’t been able to play as much at Bayern as he wanted, and he sees this as his next challenge.
“He’s come to England and can hopefully make an impact here.”
Kirchhoff, handed the No 27 shirt, will NOT make his Sunderland debut in tomorrow’s FA Cup third round tie at Arsenal, with his international clearance yet to be processed.
But Allardyce is keen to get him involved as quickly as possible, with Sunderland facing back-to-back Premier League away games against Swansea and Spurs next week.
“We will put him in as soon as we can, as soon as he has got to know the lads,” said Allardyce.
“He speaks good English which helps and, as soon as he gets to understand the players he plays with, he’ll be involved.
“We will try to introduce him off the bench and hopefully very quickly he can force his way into playing on a regular basis.”
Sunderland had hoped to bring in Ivory Coast international Kone from Lorient after agreeing a fee with the French side before the January transfer window had opened.
But a problem in the negotiations proved to be insurmountable and Sunderland have now ended their interest in the 26-year-old, who has returned to France.
Allardyce added: “The Kone deal has broken down. It’s nothing to do with a medical or anything like that. The negotiations just broke down and it didn’t happen.”
Neither will Sunderland be signing QPR defender Caulker, who had been considered prior to the arrival of Kirchhoff.