The January transfer window closed with Benjani sealing a slightly-past-last-minute move following a ‘problem’ with a fax machine.
Strangely, this isn’t the first time Benjani has been involved in such a last minute deal, as his move from Portsmouth to Manchester City was almost scuppered when the striker fell asleep in an airport while on route to complete the transfer.
The Zimbabwean striker was subject to a bid from Blackburn Rovers, who had initially tried to sign him on a permanent basis, only to learn that a work permit application would take too long to complete. Rovers tried to push through a loan deal, but by that time Sunderland had swooped to bring Benjani to the Stadium of Light.
The 31-year-old has played just under 100 games in the Premier League, scoring 23 goals in the process. That isn’t an amazing return, but Niall Quinn only scored 61 goals in 203 games for Sunderland and is regarded as a legend at the club.
"I wanted somebody with a bit of know-how and a bit of presence, and somebody who has been there, done it and worn the T-shirt in the Premier League," said Bruce.
"You can see a lot of similarities between the style of Kenwyne and Benjani,” he continued. “They are both very tall, very powerfully built front men who can cause defenders real problems on their day. They are both capable of making and creating goals too.
"Darren Bent has got us a stack load of goals this season, but I think that working off a big man is something he thrives upon, and Kenwyne has been a big help to him in that direction,” added Bruce.
"So, getting Benjani in means that we still have the option of pairing a big man with Darren if Kenwyne gets suspended or injured.”
Signing Benjani on loan is a good move. He brings Premier League experience and is a legitimate option in attack; he will put pressure on Jones that will hopefully force the forward to focus more on his performances.
It may be a coincidence, but Jones scored Sunderland’s solitary goal this afternoon. If Benjani’s presence on the bench played even a small part in this, the transfer will have been worthwhile.