Thursday 25 July 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Argentina Under-21 defender Julio Arca agreed to move from his boyhood club to Wearside by signing a five-year deal with the Black Cats.
"He's an exceptional player and was possibly the best player on the field when Argentina played England"
The 19-year-old left-back, who was spotted by Sunderland manager Peter Reid while playing an Under-21 match against England, had attracted the interest of several clubs from both the Barclays Premier League and abroad, prompting Reid to move swiftly in order to pip rival suitors to the post.
"He's an exceptional player and was possibly the best player on the field when Argentina played England," said Reid, who also captured Everton midfielder Don Hutchison, Belgium U21 midfielder Tom Peeters and Austrian goalkeeper Jurgen Macho in a busy summer of transfer activity. "I've had him watched ever since and we have been extremely impressed."
Arca made an immediate impact at the Stadium of Light, scoring on his debut at home against West Ham United, and helping his side move into title contention at the turn of the year, as Sunderland surged to second place in the Barclays Premier League table.
Though the Black Cats' challenge could not be sustained, Arca became a firm favourite among Sunderland supporters for his swashbuckling raids down the left flank and his decision to stay and help his side return to the top flight following their relegation in the 2002/03 season. He made 86 Premier League appearances in his four seasons in the top flight with the Black Cats, scoring four goals, before moving to Middlesbrough in 2006.