World Football

Ignacio Scocco to Sunderland: The Black Cats Acquire Argentinian Striker

Chile's Universidad de Chile's Igor Lichnovsky, back, fights for a ball with Argentina's Newells' Old Boys's Ignacio Scocco during a Copa Libertadores soccer match in Santiago, Chile, Tuesday, March 12, 2013. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
Luis Hidalgo/Associated Press
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJanuary 30, 2014

Sunderland have announced the capture of Internacional striker Ignacio Scocco on a two-and-a-half-year contract in an attempt to beef up their attacking reserves. 

The club's official website announced the news, with Scocco becoming the third Argentinian to join the club this month.

The 28-year-old follows compatriots Santiago Vergini and Oscar Ustari to the Stadium of Light, the former joining on loan from Estudiantes while the latter has been signed as cover in goal on a six-month deal.

Scocco will now compete against Steven Fletcher, Jozy Altidore and Ji Dong-Won, not to mention Connor Wickham, providing the youngster doesn't head back out on loan again.

Daniel Jayo/Associated Press

Having featured for some of South America's biggest clubs in his career, the forward has failed to hit the ground running since moving to Brazil in the summer, managing just three goals in 16 Brasileiro Serie A outings, per Transfermarkt.

This won't be Scocco's first venture into European football, however, the striker having previously played at AEK Athens for three seasons.

Despite having a number of attacking options at their disposal, the Black Cats have been one of the most goal-shy outfits in the English top flight this term. In 23 matches, Sunderland have scored just 22 goals, the joint-fourth-lowest tally in the Premier League this term.

South American expert Rupert Fryer says that the newly acquired forward is an upgrade on anything Sunderland already have within their ranks:

Gus Poyet appears intent on injecting some South American flair into his line-up, which is gradually beginning to gain form under the Uruguayan's command.

Sunderland have lost just one of their last eight league games and have managed to book a spot opposite Manchester City in the Wembley final of the Capital One Cup, Poyet's impact already being felt following the dismissal of Paolo Di Canio in September.

Eduardo Di Baia/Associated Press

Scocco is also an Argentinian international but has just one cap to his name, despite scoring a brace of goals on his debut, a 2-1 friendly win over Brazil.

The experienced striker will now look to conquer England's elite just as he has done most admirably with Newell's Old Boys in his native Argentina.

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