Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bassila Ready for Cats Debut

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Bassila Ready for Cats Debut

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Christian Bassila is poised to make his Sunderland debut at Wigan this weekend after Auxerre failed to hijack the midfielder's move to the Stadium of Light.

The Frenchman last night became Mick McCarthy's 11th acquisition of the summer as he signed a two-year contract following a successful trial on Wearside.

The 27-year-old's arrival had been cast into doubt on Tuesday when it emerged that Auxerre had tabled a rival bid and were confident of securing Bassila's services. But having agreed to become a Black Cat at the start of the week, the former Strasbourg schemer kept his word and was last night heading back to the North-East.

"He trained with us and impressed us," said McCarthy, whose side have lost all three of their opening fixtures so far this season.

"He is a defensive midfielder but he can also play in the back-four. He plays it simple, breaks things up and he handles the ball well. He is big and powerful. …

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