Kevin Phillips is excited to hear Stuart Harvey will be joining Sunderland as head of recruitment later this month.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend said Harvey’s arrival “can only benefit the club” so long as manager Lee Johnson retains the final say on transfers.

Football Insider revealed on Wednesday that Harvey was set to quit Blackburn Rovers to join the Black Cats in the coming weeks.

Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has since confirmed the news, which will bring Harvey’s six-year spell as head of talent identification and player analysis at Ewood Park to an end.

Phillips cited two notable Rovers’ signings when assessing the appointment.

“Adam Armstrong is one that stands out, Harvey Elliott on loan as well,” he told Football Insider. “They have both been excellent.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“It is another positive step for Sunderland and it sounds like they are working really hard in the background.

“They are bringing in people from elsewhere to oversee key footballing decisions so it is a positive sign for me. It can only benefit the club.

“Hopefully, when he does come in he gets the signings right, whoever he’s advising.

“Ultimately, and maybe I am a bit old-fashioned, it should be down to Lee Johnson who comes in. You hope that the players will not be brought in over his head because ultimately Lee has to work with them on a daily basis. I believe the manager should always have the final say.”

In other news, Phillips expects Sunderland to be working behind the scenes to tie two senior stars down to a new deal after a major announcement.