Southend United have confirmed the signing of Sunderland defender Jean-Yves Mvoto on a five-month loan.
The towering 20-year-old has yet to play a single first-team match for the Black Cats and has been loaned out by new manager Steve Bruce to gain experience and playing time.
The Frenchman, who signed for the Black Cats from Paris St Germain in January 2008, is eager to get some competitive first-team fixtures under his belt.
"I was injured for a long time last season so that slowed me down. But I am fit now and looking forward to the next six months here at Southend," Mvoto told Southend's official website.
"I want to gain valuable experience and I hope that I can offer the team something."
Mvoto was aided by a glowing reference from former Sunderland manager Roy Keane, and the centre-back was keen to praise his old boss upon his arrival at Roots Hall.
"It's nice of the old manager to do that. I enjoyed my time under him at Sunderland," he added.
"Sunderland have already let me train here this week whilst the deal was finalised so I have already settled in. The club has a few French players which has made things easier.
"I've played in five or so pre-season matches so far and we (Sunderland) played a game against Oldham recently so I know (the) level.
"This will be a good experience for me and I look forward to playing in my first game."
Southend manager Steve Tilson added: "Jean-Yves is a good size and a decent height. We've had him watched and the reports we have received have been glowing so hopefully he will do well for us."