BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Craig Gardner of Birmingham celebrates after scoring their second goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers at St.Andrews, on April 2, 2011 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Sunderland are set to complete the signing of Craig Gardner as the young midfielder leaves behind his Midlands roots as Steve Bruce uses his charm once again to convince a Birmingham midfielder that the grass is greener in the North East.
The midfielder who bagged 12 goals last season, and has been tipped for full England honours, put pen to paper on an 3-year deal, whilst it's reported Birmingham will be raking in £5m, although the deal will remain officially 'undisclosed'.
The signing of Gardner certainly makes our midfield look very rosey when you factor in we already have the recently recruited Sebastian Larsson, Lee Cattermole David Meyler & Jack Colback, not to mention more versatile players such as Ahmed Elmohamady, Kieran Richardson and Stephane Sessegnon who could fill in if required... Dare I mention the possibility of a certain Wigan midfielder to take a role on the left hand side, or even Darron Gibson.
Lets not beat about the bush though, Gardner should get a starting role regardless of who we have and/or potentially sign. His presence in midfield should add a lot, and could well be at long last the attacking central midfielder we've longed for, plus he actually shoots - a rareity for SAFC midfield men.
Gardner is a player I've always admired, and I'm absolutely delighted he's joined us. Now, I can't say I've watched him that intently, but in the few Birmingham City games I have watched he was highly impressive. Especially against us at St Andrews where he took time out from bossing the game to score a cracking goal, and he was also instrumental in Birmingham's League Cup win over Arsenal.
He'll be a good compliment for Lee Cattermole in the middle, who will be stemming the tide of attacks whilst Gardner plants the seeds of our attacking play, giving us plenty of balance across the midfield.
All in all, I'd say this transfer window is off to a cracking start for us. So much so I've almost forgotten all about the Jordan Henderson nonsense as the squad a whole begins to look stronger in every department.
There's still a few more to come in you'd imagine. We're in desperate need of a left-back, and at least two strikers, but the fact we're making moves so early is tree-mendous, and for once we're not sitting around shrubbing our shoulders as the rest of the league cherry pick the players they want.
Oh come on, what else is there to say really? Gardner's a blooming marvellous signing, we all know that. Hats off to Steve Bruce I say, who's policy of bringing in younger players could well have us blossoming next season, and for several seasons beyond.
Ok, I'm done, and I apologise, although the points are salient.
Stick around though as we're going to be speaking to some proper Birmingham fans who have watched Gardner & Larsson week in, week out and can give us the full low-down on our pair and see what we've got for ourselves.