AFTER a dramatic and ever-changing deadline day on Wearside, Sunderland manager Chris Coleman made Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher one of three signings.

Coleman was desperate to strengthen his attacking options and find a goalkeeper before the window closed and he did that by landing a trio of loans.

After Liverpool winger Ovie Ejaria’s move from Anfield had been secured earlier in the day, Sunderland then confirmed the arrivals of Fletcher and Cardiff City goalkeeper Lee Camp before the window closed.

Those new additions were secured on the same day the Black Cats successfully moved on Didier Ndong, as expected, to Watford on loan for the rest of the season; although there is an £8m deal at the end of it once achievable clauses have been triggered.

Fletcher has been under consideration throughout the month on Wearside but it was only yesterday morning when Sunderland actually made the call to Middlesbrough to get things moving.

Coleman had unsuccessful attempts to sign Chris Martin, Jon Walters and Ben Woodburn during the window, and he was also left disappointed when he failed to get Swansea’s Oli McBurnie ahead of Barnsley.

But the Tykes were also keen on Fletcher, and that little transfer triangle ultimately led to him completing his move to the Stadium of Light after a day of twists and turns.

Fletcher has found opportunities limited on Teesside since arriving from West Ham in a £6.5m deal last summer.

The 22-year-old, who had also attracted interest from Leeds, only made three league starts for Middlesbrough after moving to the North-East, scoring twice. He has struggled to convince Tony Pulis he deserved to start.

The former Manchester United youngster has plenty of potential and is desperate for more first team football to rebuild his confidence. During Fletcher’s loan at Barnsley he helped them to promotion in 2016 by scoring eight times in 27 appearances.

He signed a four-year deal at Middlesbrough last summer but found himself behind Britt Assombalonga, Rudy Gestede, Patrick Bamford and Martin Braithwaite in the pecking order.

Sunderland had also considered Sheffield Wednesday strikers Atdhe Nuhui and Jordan Rhodes but ended up with Fletcher – and he will compete with Josh Maja, Joel Asoro and Kazenga LuaLua for starting spots.

Camp’s move to Sunderland looked to have ended Jason Steele’s frustrating seven month spell at the club. Steele headed for Derby on loan while the Camp, 33, headed to the North-East to conclude his own loan from Cardiff. But Steele’s move broke down late that night. 

Coleman had tried hard to land Middlesbrough’s Dimi Konstantopoulos and Leeds’ Andy Lonergan but Sunderland were unable to strike a deal with club and player respectively speaking.

Sunderland did bring in talented midfielder Ejaria until the end of the campaign. The 20-year-old won the under-20 World Cup in the summer and began his youth career at Arsenal, before heading to Merseyside in 2016.

Coleman said: “Ovie is a talented young player with strength and imagination on the ball. He’s here to join our fight and has shown me how motivated he is to be here and I’m sure he’s ready for the challenges ahead.”

Ejaria said: “I’m really happy because I’ve wanted to go out on loan for a while to get regular first-team football under my belt. I’d say that I’m a player that likes to get on the ball quite a lot and make things happen, I’ll try to create chances and hopefully score some goals as well. I’ll always give one hundred percent and work hard for the team.”

Ejaria effectively replaced Ndong in the squad. The 22-year-old, who has been the subject of interest all month from the Hornets, finally moved to Vicarage Road and should stay there beyond this season.

He made 49 appearances for Sunderland in a deal that would have been worth around £16m if certain more clauses were met. It is understood he has cost Sunderland £13.5m, so the £8m is a decent fee if they can land it in the summer.

Albion Rovers striker Connor Shields, meanwhile, has moved to Sunderland. The 19-year-old will form part of the Under-23s squad to continue his development.