As the January transfer window reaches a crescendo of activity, Sky Sports runs the rule over the high-profile movers in the Premier League. Hit or miss? Read our assessment and offer your own verdict here...
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 31/01/14 10:06am
The former Chelsea trainee moved to Brighton in 2010 and soon emerged as a favourite for the Seagulls. After helping the club to the League One title in his first season, he continued his development under Gus Poyet and earned his first Scotland cap in March. With Poyet now in charge at Sunderland, the Uruguayan soon targeted his old midfielder and Bridcutt has now sealed a three-and-a-half year deal.
"He's (Poyet) had a massive effect on my career and my game. Since day one when I came here (to Brighton), he's always encouraged me and is always telling me things and I'm always learning."
"If I was coach of Real I would take him because he deserves to go to the highest level. As a holding midfielder, there is no better player in the division (the Championship). So he is quite expensive. The best thing about Liam is that he understands me to an incredible level. The way he understands what I want from him is spectacular." - Gus Poyet, Sunderland manager, speaking in 2012.
Watched Liam Bridcutt a few times when covering our teams down at Brighton - always impressed me, very classy player.- Richard Mason (@MasonEcho) January 30, 2014
A popular figure at Brighton, Bridcutt's passing and tackling are of Premier League quality and he is an impressive player with and without the ball. But the 24-year-old could be a significant dressing room influence too given his unique understanding with Poyet. The new Sunderland boss is working to transform the team's approach and nobody knows the manager's intentions quite like the midfield conductor from his Brighton days.
Liam who? That might be the initial reaction from Sunderland supporters eager to see their team move away from danger in the Premier League. Although Poyet might have little doubt about what Bridcutt can bring, with no experience of top-flight football, a learning curve can still be expected and with the experienced Lee Cattermole only a year older than the new man, is it an unnecessary risk to place him at the heart of their plans?
A solid signing for the Black Cats and a player with the ability to establish himself as a more than useful Premier League player. While Cattermole has been a good servant for the club, Bridcutt is evidently more in tune with Poyet's ideas and should prove an effective if unspectacular addition.