Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal have confirmed that Sunderland’s loan deal for Abdou Mangane is complete.
Mangane, 29, joins the club for an initial cost of €300,000. The Black Cats also hold an option to make the deal permanent in the summer for €3 million, the same figure Al-Hilal paid for him from Rennes in July last year.
“Kader is player who will add to the overall strength of our squad and give us options," manager Martin O’Neill said. "He will improve competition for places and we are delighted to welcome him to the club.”
Earlier, O'Neill revealed the signings of midfielder Alfred N’Diaye and Mangane are part of a concerted effort to add height and power to his Sunderland squad. N’Diaye, 22, stands at 6’ 2’’, while Senegalese defender Mangane is 6’ 5’’, and O’Neill admitted earlier in the season that, without club captain Lee Cattermole in the side, Sunderland lacked a certain physicality.
“Alfred coming in, it’s not just absolutely and utterly to do with the size aspect of things,” he said. “I think he has the talent and the energy as well and I think he could be a really decent hit here. The reality is we are a bit small as a squad, maybe the smallest in the Premier League, and we had problems with the physical aspect in some games earlier in the season.
“We found it difficult. But, having said that, mighty atom David Vaughan came in against West Ham - all of about 5’ 7’’ of him - and was as good as anyone on the pitch. We are looking to add strength in depth and Alfred coming in has certainly given us a lift.”
N’Diaye also revealed the completion of a dream after he made his Premier League debut against West Ham as a substitute on Saturday, amid a passionate welcome from the Stadium of Light
“Sunderland watched me for five months in Turkey and I’m glad that eventually it’s happened,” he said. “It’s been a dream of mine to play in England. My premier objective has to been to play in the Premier League. When it became possible to come here, I immediately wanted it to happen quickly. I think I’ve made a lot of progress since I moved to Turkey.
“Before I went there, I played 61 times for Nancy and never scored a goal. But I’ve made progress to my game and learned how to make a more important contribution to the team. And it’s been seen because I scored three goals in 37 appearances while I was there. Now I hope to score more goals here.
“I can’t play on Tuesday, but hopefully I can play more next weekend,” he added. “That’s up to the manager though! I nearly scored, it was a shame, but maybe next time. It was a good start for me, we played a good match. We’ve got to be very happy with a 3-0 scoreline and we could even have scored a few more. We never let West Ham play. Everyone worked hard and played their part and it was a great to run out 3-0 winners.”