Sunderland have had a busy summer under manager Gustavo Poyet, with the likes of Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones, Santiago Vergini, Sebastian Coates, Patrick van Aanholt, Jack Rodwell, Jordi Gomez and Will Buckley as the Black Cats look to continue their good run of form from the end of last season.
However, their most impressive capture of the summer came on deadline day, as Inter Milan playmaker Ricardo Alvarez made the move to the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan deal, though Sunderland do have the option to make it permanent in a year's time.
Alvarez, 26, made his name in his native Argentina as a star with Velez Sarsfield, and with plenty of interest from European clubs, Alvarez made the move to Inter in 2011 as the Serie A giants forked out €12.8m (£10m). 14 goals and 19 assists in 90 games for the San Siro side is far from a bad record, but there was generally a feeling that Alvarez hadn't quite reached his potential in Milan - though it's worth noting that the club and their fans felt that Alvarez was a better player than Philippe Coutinho, who has since lit up the Premier League with Liverpool.
Atletico Madrid were believed to be interested in signing Alvarez earlier this summer but no move materialised, leaving him to make the shock move to Wearside on Monday, with Poyet looking to infuse his side with South American flair in a bid to drive his team up the Premier League table.
In this performance against Udinese, we see Alvarez display some of his outstanding technique and dribbling, but the end product is still inconsistent. His left foot is evidently his predominant foot and his right is virtually only for standing on, but he's neat and tidy in possession - it's just in the final third where he needs to make better decisions.
In terms of his position, Alvarez is widely categorised as a classic No. 10; sitting behind the striker looking to get on the ball and create chances. He regularly veers out to the right hand side so he can cut in on his left foot, but expect him to play centrally for Sunderland, flanked by Adam Johnson and Will Buckley with Connor Wickham in attack.
With Jack Rodwell and either Lee Cattermole or Liam Bridcutt sitting behind them, they should have the license to express themselves going forward. Sunderland's aim should be to push for the top ten having finished last season so strongly, and the calibre of their signings this summer - particularly Alvarez - could lead to finishing above their great rivals Newcastle, and in doing so, claiming the crown as the North East's top team.