Why Sunderland should sign Alvaro Arbeloa

Rafael Benitez - Liverpool Manager and Alvaro Arbeloa (L)

Alvaro Arbeloa is available on a free transfer following his release from Real Madrid, and Sunderland should make a move.

Picture Supplied by Action Images - Alvaro Arbeloa Alvaro Arbeloa would be perfect for Sunderland 

Speculation has been mounting regarding the future of Spanish defender Alvaro Arbeloa, following his release from La Liga giants Real Madrid.

Newcastle United have been heavily linked with the former Liverpool star, with the Daily Mail reporting the Magpies' interest last month.

It is another club, however, and the Geordie's fiercest rivals - Sunderland, who would benefit most from signing the 33-year-old Arbeloa.

Picture Supplied by Action Images - Alvaro ArbeloaArbeloa is reportedly wanted by Newcastle

The Black Cats' defence was cause for concern for the majority of last season, despite Sam Allardyce's work on the training ground finally bearing fruit, as they conceded just nine goals in their last 10 Premier League games.

The are, however, still desperately short in that area with Wes Brown, 36, and John O'Shea, 35 both at an age where competing in England's top flight becomes increasingly difficult. Just ask Gary Neville.

They also lack real depth in the full-back areas, and Arbeloa would be the ideal signing to straighten their defence as a whole, with his versatility enabling him to play anywhere across the back-line.

Picture Supplied by Action ImagesArbeloa is available on a free transfer

He would be able to provide cover for Patrick van Aanholt at left-back, fill-in at right-back, depending on whether or not Sunderland manage to re-sign DeAndre Yedlin, and he would also be a terrific partner for the impressive Lamine Kone in the centre of defence.

Despite Arbeloa having worked under Rafa Benitez at Liverpool, Sunderland hold the advantage over Newcastle of being able to offer Premier League football.

His 56 caps for Spain and two Champions League winning medals highlight his standing within the game.

The experience that Arbeloa would bring to the Stadium of Light would be invaluable, and Big Sam should do everything within his power to bring him to the club.

Sunderland manager Sam AllardyceWould Sunderland manager Sam Allardyce consider a move for Arbeloa?

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