[[content.stanza]]When Sunderland announced their 25-man squad yesterday, they only managed to fill 21 of them, so the signature of Victor Anichebe means three spots remain vacant. Who is next? Without doubt at least one new arrival should be expected soon.
David Moyes has already signed eight new faces, so the team who take the pitch next week against Everton may look very different to the one who secured safety against the Toffees in May.
The Sunderland manager has also confirmed he is looking to the free agent market for squad reinforcements and to fill certain key voids that remain. The arrival of Victor Anichebe certainly confirms that. The swift arrival of the former West Brom and Everton target man was notable and he provides cover for Jermain Defoe and adds to Moyes' forward options which have been reduced due to the recent injury to Fabio Borini.
The other obvious hole to be filled is that of a backup goalkeeper. Vito Mannone is likely out for a couple of months and Sunderland remain on hold to FIFA after appealing that the TMS system, which records player's transfers, failed late on deadline day in order to register a deal for Mika of Boavista.
Both clubs appear to be confident they did what was required of them to conclude the deal and log it appropriately. Certainly Sunderland have absolved themselves of any administrative blame and so have reported the matter for FIFA's attention.
Mika's agent told Portuguese press that the deal was concluded at 22.30 and sent to the system which was down and only came back online at ten minutes to midnight - too late to be recognised. The player himself was said to be back in training in Portugal yesterday awaiting the outcome.
This weekend's international break has likely come at a good time to resolve the matter and allow Sunderland time to scour the market for additional reinforcements. Not signing a goalkeeper is surely not an option as it would leave David Moyes exposed, solely reliant on Jordan Pickford who withdrew from the England Under-21s with a niggle last week and the untried 19 year old Max Stryjek.
Other notable names on the "free agents list" include 32-year old Stephane Sessegnon, 31-year old Kieran Richardson and the surely completely unmanageable Nicklas Bendtner. A signing of any of those three would raise an enormous smile amongst the Sunderland faithful and would surely be worth it just for the cheer they would raise upon announcement.
Regardless, a game of 'fantasy free agents' looks great fun. Jonas Gutierrez anyone? Sadly, Marouane Chamakh has joined West Brom (much to their fans absolute disgust!). How about Jeremie Aliadiere? Junior Hoilett?
The mind literally boggles about who might arrive in the next few days. It's a bit like Christmas time as a kid - where you visit a round of random relatives on Boxing Day and receive a few unexpected prezzies after the main event. We'll literally have to trust in David Moyes on this one because we can barely see anyone worth the bother on the list. Check it out for yourselves here.