Ursene Mouanda has become South Shields’ latest summer signing after the club received international clearance ahead of Saturday’s league opener.
The 20-year-old midfielder was on the Mariners’ radar throughout pre-season, and represented the club in four friendlies over recent weeks.
The club had been waiting for international clearance to complete his signing, and the relevant paperwork has now been ratified, meaning he is available for selection in the Evo-Stik Premier Division match against Witton Albion on Saturday.
Mouanda has worked with Lee Picton and Graham Fenton in the past, having been guided by the duo during his time at Monkseaton Football Academy.
His exploits there earned him a move to Scottish giants Rangers, and he spent last season at another Scottish Premiership side, Kilmarnock.
The Ivorian is particularly adept at breaking up play and helping his team launch attacks.
Having worked closely with Mouanda before, South Shields joint manager Graham Fenton is in no doubt as to the midfielder’s talent, and ability to fit in at Mariners Park.
He said: “We’re delighted to have secured Ursene on a long-term contract.
“He is someone Lee and I have worked closely with in the past at Monkseaton, and we’ve followed his career in Scotland at Rangers and Kilmarnock.
“When Ursene became available, we had no doubt he was the right type of player and character to bring into the first-team squad.
“He gives us a lot of things, including fantastic athleticism and competitiveness.
“He’s a real competitive midfield player who can fulfill that role extremely well for us.
“He has got a good understanding of the position he’s in and is particularly good at regaining possession for the team.”
Mouanda will have first caught the eye of many Shields supporters when he was part of the Catalyst Professional Sports Management team beaten 4-3 by the Mariners last month.
IMAGE: Kev Wilson.