Striker Saha signs

by Stuart Vose

Experienced frontman signs one-year deal.

Martin O’Neill has bolstered his forward line by completing the signing of French striker Louis Saha.

The 34-year-old, who was a free agent after leaving Tottenham Hotspur, has put pen to paper on a one-year deal at the Stadium of Light.

He is available for selection for Sunderland’s trip to the Emirates Stadium to face Arsenal this weekend.

Manager Martin O’Neill said: “Louis is a striker whose abilities have been proven at the very highest level and he brings with him a raft of experience of top-flight football.

“I’m sure he will be a great addition to our squad in an area we recognise needs strengthening and I’m delighted we have been able to complete the deal ahead of our first game of the season.”

Saha added: “This is a great opportunity; I’m really pleased with the chance to play for such a great club.

“I’m delighted and obviously I’m looking forward to start playing for the team.

“The club has very passionate fans, they really look to help the team and there are many things to achieve. So I’m delighted with the choice and the opportunity to play for such a great football club.

“Martin O’Neill has great experience and has done well since taking over as manager. It’s a great chance to play under him and I hope to help the side to achieve something.”

Saha first arrived in England in 1999 when he joined Newcastle on loan from Metz before heading back to France.

He returned to the UK on a permanent basis in 2000, joining Fulham, and was a big hit at Craven Cottage, scoring 64 goals in 144 games.

Manchester United paid £12.8m for the Paris-born frontman in January 2004 and he chipped in with 42 goals in 124 games for the Red Devils before moving on to Everton in September 2008.

He spent just under three and a half years at Goodison Park, playing 115 games for the Merseyside outfit and finding the net on 35 occasions.

Saha moved south to Tottenham on January transfer deadline day and made 12 appearances for the London club during the second half of the 2011-12, scoring three times before leaving at the end of the campaign.