Southend have signed John Egan on loan from Sunderland to help counter their defensive crisis.
The centre-back, 21, arrives at Roots Hall on a one-month deal and is available to make his Shrimpers debut in Saturday's League Two clash at home to Wycombe.
Boss Phil Brown has moved to bolster his defensive options having been left short at the back in recent weeks.
Brown told the club's official website: "With Adam Thompson, Luke Prosser, Cian Bolger and Julian Bennett all out injured, we've moved as quickly as possible to bring in cover.
"John is the type of defender I like to have in my side and I'm sure he'll fit straight in.
"He's a no-nonsense type of defender but at the same time he can get the ball down and play out from the back."
Egan, a Republic of Ireland Under-21 international, is yet to make his first-team debut for Sunderland but has enjoyed loan spells with Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Bradford.