Sunderland manager David Moyes was delighted to hand landed Didier Ndong on transfer deadline day after revealing the player had been a target for the club for some time.
The 22-year-old Gabon international, who signed a five-year contract after completing a £13.6m deal , was joined at the club by 21-year-old Manchester City centre-back Jason Denayer on loan in the dying hours of the window – to add to the six players the Black Cats had already secured.
Speaking to the Evening Chronicle, Moyes, when pushed, compared Ndong to Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante.
"We had been pushing to bring in Ndong for quite a while, but we kept getting the message back that he wouldn’t be leaving.
"It was only two or three days ago that it opened up and there was a chance that we might be able to sign him. We like the look of him, he has good energy, he is young, he will improve with time.
"I think he has a personality to his play. I’m not saying he is another N’Golo Kante, but there is a bit of that in his makeup."
He also spoke highly of Denayer, who has spent the past two seasons on loan, at Celtic and Galatasaray.
"We brought in Jason, who can play centre-half, he can play full-back – they speak incredibly highly of him at Celtic, where he spent time on loan and was named Scottish Young Player of the Year.
"He was interesting to us, because I don’t think having Lamine Kone, Papy Djilobodji, and John O’Shea was enough to get us through the season. With the possibility of injuries and suspensions, you really need four centre-backs," the former Everton boss added.
"I also wanted him because he gives me the flexibility to play three at the back alongside Kone and Djilobodji, which I will do at times."