English Premier League club Sunderland was forced to play without its on-loan defensive duo Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos last night, with the pair not registered in time for the first game against Middlesbrough.

Kyrgiakos, 32, joined Wolfsburg from Liverpool in the summer on a free transfer, but he has failed to live up to expectations and now returns to England to bolster Martin O’Neill’s squad.

“Sotirios offers a real physical presence, coupled with a wealth of experience, which will be an undoubted benefit to us in the next few months,” O’Neill said. “I’m delighted to welcome him to the club and I’m sure he is looking forward to the challenge of returning to the Premier League.” Kyrgiakos follows Wayne Bridge in joining Sunderland on loan on transfer deadline day.