26 January 2023

Sunderland sign Lille forward Isaac Lihadji on two-and-a-half-year deal

26 January 2023

Sunderland have announced the signing of Lille forward Isaac Lihadji for an undisclosed fee.

Lihadji, 20, has signed an initial two-and-a-half-year contract at the Stadium of Light, with the club holding an option of a 12-month extension.

France Under-21 international Lihadji made 39 senior appearances for Lille and was part of the squad which won the 2020-21 title as well as featuring in the Champions League.

The completion of the deal is subject to international clearance and Lihadji, who also had a spell at Marseille earlier in his career, is looking forward to the challenges ahead with Sunderland.

“The project attracted me because the club inspire young players to improve their level,” he said on the club website.

“I am ready for the challenge. I’m excited to play for the club and I’m eager to get on the field.”

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray is confident Lihadji can make the most of his opportunity at the Stadium of Light.

“It’s a mark of the club’s progression that we can attract this level of talent when so many others were in the mix,” said Mowbray, whose side sit just a point behind the Sky Bet Championship play-off places.

“His playing time has been limited in recent months and we need to manage our immediate expectations, but he will add competition to the squad and we always have one eye on next season.

“I often talk about how important it is to keep putting talent into the club, so we are delighted that Isaac has chosen to continue his career with us and we are looking forward to working with him.”

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