Wed, Feb 01, 2017 - Page 7 News List

David Moyes buys familiar faces to boost Sunderland’s hopes of survival

AFP, LONDON

Sunderland manager David Moyes placed his faith in Costa Rica international Bryan Oviedo and Republic of Ireland midfielder Darron Gibson in helping the English Premier League tail-enders escape the drop, signing them on Monday from his former club Everton.

Oviedo, 26 and who signed a three-and-a-half year contract, is to fill the vacuum left by fullback Patrick van Aanholt, who signed for fellow strugglers Crystal Palace earlier on Monday.

Gibson, 29, who has signed an 18-month contract, like Oviedo played under Moyes when he was at Everton before the Scottish manager left for an unhappy sojourn at Manchester United.

Both Oviedo and Gibson had their time at Everton overshadowed by injury, with the former making just 68 appearances in four-and-a-half years, though that was also due to veteran Leighton Baines good form, while Gibson managed 69 in five years.

“Bryan is a very good player and he’ll help us get forward,” Moyes told Sunderland’s Web site. “He’s quick and overall he’s a decent leftback. I signed him for Everton from Copenhagen as cover for Leighton Baines at the time and he’s only not getting in because of how well Leighton’s done. He’s 26, which is a good age for us, and I think he’s a really good character — a good boy — and I’m hoping he’s someone who will help us over the years.”

Moyes, whose only other signing in the transfer window has been another of his former Everton players, veteran central defender Joleon Lescott, said he hoped Gibson would provide much needed goals from midfield.

“We’ve got Darron on an 18-month contract and I think he’s a very good footballer — he’ll add a bit of quality with his passing and his play, and I’d love him to add goals,” he said. “He has a really good strike and if he can add goals from midfield it would be a big bonus.”

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