Transfer News: Left-back James makes SoL move

Sunderland AFC has completed the signing of left-back Reece James on a one-year deal.

The 24-year-old arrives following a three-year spell with Wigan Athletic, during which time he helped the club win two Sky Bet League One titles.

James made 28 appearances for the Latics during the 2017-18 campaign, as Paul Cooke’s side pipped rivals Blackburn Rovers to the third-tier title and sealed an instant return to the Sky Bet Championship.

The defender becomes Jack Ross’ sixth summer signing, joining Alim Ozturk, Jon McLaughlin, Chris Maguire, Tom Flanagan and Dylan McGeouch at the Stadium of Light.

Speaking about his arrival, the Sunderland manager said: “Reece played a big part in Wigan’s promotion last year and he has good pedigree from his time with Manchester United earlier in his career.

“He’s another new signing who is at a good age, and he’s very good in the final third which will be a big for us next season as we try to get our full-backs high up the park.

“He’s another good addition and I think it’s exciting to see that we’re trying to build something.”

James started his career with Rossendale United and enjoyed spells with Blackburn and Preston North End before signing for Manchester United in July 2012.

One year later, he joined Carlisle United on loan but his time at Brunton Park was cut short due to injury, and he returned to Old Trafford before impressing for the Red Devils’ second-string and being nominated for the Denzil Haroun Reserve Player of the Year award.

He made his first-team debut in July 2014 during United’s pre-season tour of the USA, scoring twice in a 7-0 win over LA Galaxy.

Loan spells with Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town followed before James signed for Wigan in 2015, playing a key role in the first half of the Tics’ 2015-16 title-winning season before missing 20 months due to injury.

He returned to action in August 2017 and picked up where he left off, featuring 28 times as Wigan returned to the Sky Bet Championship as champions.

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