Steve Bruce believes Sunderland's capture of Connor Wickham proves they are a force to be reckoned with.
The Black Cats pieced together a package which could be worth as much as £12million in order to lure England U21 starlet Wickham away from Ipswich.
His signing is seen to be a show of intent from Sunderland, as they look to become an established top-half side in the Premier League.
Seeing off competition from the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham to land Wickham suggests they are heading in the right direction.
Bruce certainly believes they are, and is tipping his latest recruit to be a resounding success on Wearside.
He said: "The signing of Connor Wickham is a statement of intent by Sunderland.
"It is a bold signing that shows we are building for the future.
"There were a lot of clubs tracking him, but we were the ones who were prepared to meet Ipswich's valuation.
"It is also a testament to our progress as a club that Connor wanted to come here. I am sure he will be a big hit with the fans."
Bruce has already spent around £20million this summer on Wickham, Craig Gardner, Sebastian Larsson, Keiren Westwood and Ji Dong-Won, but hopes to add further fresh faces to his ranks before the 2011/12 campaign gets underway.
"I'm absolutely delighted that we've been able to get so many players in ahead of returning for pre-season training," he said.
"We've brought in what are five quality new signings and of course also made (Ahmed) Elmohamady's loan a permanent deal - and hopefully there'll be more."