Benjani arrives at Sunderland hungry for goals

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The Independent Online

Sunderland's new striker Benjani Mwaruwari is desperate to kick-start his season after securing a switch to Wearside.

The 31-year-old only completed his loan move from Manchester City to the Stadium of Light a day after the closure of the January window because of problems with the club's communications network on Monday.

However, he is relishing the chance to prove himself once again after managing only six appearances for City this season, and only two of those in the Premier League.

Benjani said: "It feels really great to be here and I am very happy with my decision. Sunderland is a good club. I am feeling fit and well and ready to play. I have been injured for a long time in the past, but I have recovered well. Now I have a chance to play regularly here and hopefully I will get the time on the pitch.

"The season for them is okay, but not so much for me as I have not been playing. As a player, I need to play and that has been frustrating," said Benjani. "As a striker, I always want to score in every game. There are some good players here and I am looking forward to playing with them."

Benjani was one of several members of Steve Bruce's squad to train at Eastlands yesterday with the club's training ground falling foul of the weather. The manager insisted he has been recruited to compete with Kenwyne Jones, rather than replace him.

"You can seen a lot of similarities between the style of Kenwyne and Benjani. They are both very tall, very powerfully built front men who can cause defenders real problems on their day," Bruce told the Sunderland Echo. "But I don't want Benjani to replace Kenwyne, I need him to give us another option because we have been a bit light in the striking department.

"Getting Benjani in means that we still have the option of pairing a big man with Darren (Bent) if Kenwyne gets suspended or injured."

Sunderland have been going through a slump in form of late and that makes Saturday's visit of struggling Wigan to the Stadium of Light a significant encounter, and one in which Benjani, like fellow newcomer Alan Hutton, could be handed a debut.

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