WANDERERS have added free agent Jan Kirchhoff. to their midfield in a capture that could prove a real coup for the club.

Phil Parkinson had been working on a deal to bring the former German under-21 international in on a performance-related contract and the signing was announced last night.

Kirchhoff began his career with Mainz and, via Bayern Munich and Schalke, joined Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland in January 2016.

Injuries severely hampered his stint with the Black Cats, though he helped them stave off relegation in his first season before he was released last summer.

The 27-year-old, a spectator at Wanderers’ win against Kirchhoff’s former club on Tuesday, figured in the Under-23s’ victory at home to Burnley the following night.

And the Whites boss, who takes his side to Norwich City tomorrow on the back of their morale-boosting win, was pleased to land the free agent.

“He’s an experienced player, he’s played at the top level and he’s a good footballer, he’s got real pedigree,” the manager told The Bolton News.

“He’s tall, he has played centre-back, and he can handle the ball, pick a pass and when you’ve got players like Sammy Ameobi and Zach Clough they need someone to get the ball to them quickly. He’s certainly got the ability to do that.

“The deal’s had to be right because obviously he hasn’t played for a long time.

“As Ken [Anderson, chairman] has said, as much as we’ve got that money from the Madine transfer we don’t want to waste it, we want to make sure any deal we do for players is right.

“But any signing is a gamble and all parties have got to understand there’s an element of risk in any deal but equally it’s a judgement call and you have to make those calls as a group.

“We spoke to Sam Allardyce about him and he gave us a glowing reference.

“Obviously he’s had injuries and if we do bring him in we’re going to have to manage that situation.

“It won’t be immediately the case where he starts games but he’s a player of such high pedigree if we could get him up to speed then what a signing he would be for us.

“It’s performance-related but he seems a really good lad, an excellent professional and he’s looking to get his career back on track so maybe it can suit both parties.”

At Norwich tomorrow, Wanderers’ midfield will be without Karl Henry, suspended after picking up his 10th booking against Sunderland.

But Parkinson said Darren Pratley will travel with the squad and there was more good news regarding Josh Vela, who suffered an ankle injury in last weekend’s defeat at QPR.

“We’ve had good news from his scan and it’s not as bad as we first thought so once we get the swelling down in that ankle he won’t be too far away and Darren has been making good progress on the training pitch this week,” he added.