Date:Monday January 23 2006
Estonian international Mart Poom has completed a permanent transfer to Arsenal. The keeper joined The Gunners on loan from The Black Cats in August, and has now signed a permanent deal at Highbury outfit.
Despite not making a first team start under boss Arsene Wenger the popular keeper has decided to stay at Arsenal and fight for a place ahead of Jens Lehman and Manuel Almunia.
'I'm delighted to have signed a permanent deal with Arsenal,' Poom told the club's official website.
'I am really pleased that Arsene Wenger and the coaches at the club have shown faith in me.
'I'm really enjoying it here at Arsenal and will continue to work hard in training, so that I am ready to hopefully feature in the first team.'
Poom's transfer wraps up what has been a bit of a puzzling loan move, as Sunderland struggled in the goalkeeping department with only 18 year old Ben Alnwick as back up to Kelvin Davis who for long spells of this disappointing season has been struggling for form, Poom often did not make the Arsenal bench.
Despite Davis' recent improvement most Sunderland fans will be sorry to see Poom leave, who will be most fondly remembered for his dramatic late equaliser away at Derby at Pride Park, personally one of my most cherished moments following Sunderland.
It is a shame, and somewhat of a mystery, that he has not featured at all this season, his international class and Premiership experience having been sorely missed at times this season.
Here's hoping Poom's signature is part of a gentleman's agreement that sees Justin Hoyte signing a permanent deal on Wearside.
Something tells me that may not quite be the case however...
**What do you think about Poom's departure? Should he have remained at Sunderland to challenge Davis? Did you witness his fantastic header at Pride Park?
Have your say in the Vital Football Sunderland forum by clicking Here and have the chance to get your views published on the website**
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