Sunderland have received a major boost ahead of their Championship clash with Cardiff City on Sunday following the confirmation that deadline day signing Nazariy Rusyn is now eligible to play, according to official club media.
The former Ukraine under-21 international joined the Wearside club at the beginning of the month from Zorya Luhansk, but has not been able to feature thus far whilst he waited for a visa to be granted.
The striker is expected to lead the line for the Black Cats this season and there is a hope that he can replicate his form at his previous club, where he scored 21 goals in 49 appearances. He did feature in Zorya’s opening two fixtures this season, netting in the 2-1 defeat to Rukh Lviv.
It’s been a long wait for manager Tony Mowbray, who seemed downbeat when addressing the situation earlier in the week. Prior to the win over Blackburn Rovers, the former Celtic boss said;
“Rusyn still hasn’t got his visa so he is not going to travel for this one but we will get to that point.
“There was every expectation that it was going to be here this morning but we went out to training, came back in and it is still not here.
“It is a little bit frustrating for him but he is happy to do some training. He needs to get up to speed as he hasn’t played a game for three or four weeks.”
The former Dynamo Kiev attacker is now free to join up with the squad ahead of Sunday’s game at the Stadium of Light, with Mowbray confirming the news in this afternoon’s press conference;
“He’s got his visa through. We’ll assess him in training and see where he is. He’s a young boy, I say a young boy he’s 24.
“The language isn’t great, he’s a nice kid, he looks pretty sharp. Whether he’s ready to play in our team at the moment is another question.”
Sunderland are one of the form teams of the Championship and moved up fourth with Wednesday’s victory at Ewood Park. They are now unbeaten in five games and after struggling to find the net in the early stages of the campaign, have scored 11 goals in their last three outings.
It’s undoubtedly a boost for Sunderland to finally have one of their big summer signings at their disposal, although their recent form has alleviated the pressure to thrust him straight into the team. Mowbray can now take his time getting the player up to speed, particularly because the squad now appear to have found their shooting boots.
Rusyn will need time to adapt to the physicality of the Championship and he could play a big role in the Black Cats’ push for promotion this season, where they are looking to return to the Premier League for the first time since 2017.