While speculation grows each day over the future of Newcastle United and their managerial situation, down on Wearside Sunderland are quietly going about their relegation battle by bringing in experience defenders.
Well, one of them anyway after the Black Cats announced the signing of former Arsenal man Emmanuel Eboue on a short-term deal.
The Ivorian will play at the Stadium of Light until the end of the season, and while regarded by some as a tad unreliable now and then, after eight years with Arsenal and three trophy-laden years with Galatasaray, there’s little doubting the full-back’s credentials.
Sunderland are 5/4 to stay up this season, and currently reside just a point above drop zone-occupying Norwich and Newcastle with nine games of the season left to play.
The 32-year-old has been training with the team for several weeks, but with Sunderland not in action this weekend, will have to wait for his Black Cats debut.
But as fate would have it that could be the Tyne-Wear derby, with Newcastle next in line for Sam Allardyce’s men on March 20.
With Sunderland unbeaten in eight meetings with their fierce rivals, Eboue has plenty of honour to uphold, and the Black Cats have won each of their last three tips to St James’ Park without conceding.
But if their respective preparations are anything to go by, Sunderland should be pretty confident.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.