Jan Kirchhoff has completed his move to Sunderland from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich.
The 25-year-old has signed an 18-month deal with the Premier League strugglers after sealing a transfer for an undisclosed fee.
Speaking to the club's official website, manager Sam Allardyce said: "Jan has a very good pedigree and even though he is still relatively young he has experience of football at the highest level, including the Champions League.
"He has real versatility as a player, being comfortable in both the centre-back and midfield roles. He is desperately keen to experience the Premier League and our job now is to do everything we can to help him settle and adapt quickly to life in English football, so he can have a positive impact on our squad."
Kirchhoff had earlier revealed he rejected the chance to stay in the Bundesliga in favour of seeking a new challenge in England.
"I had several options. There were requests from the Bundesliga, but I didn't really consider them or to stay at Bayern," he told Kicker.
"I'm looking forward to playing in England and the new challenge."
Kirchhoff made only one brief DFB-Pokal appearance for Pep Guardiola's side this season.
The centre-back, who has been beset by a string of injury problems in recent seasons, had spent time with Schalke in the last two campaigns in a bid to recapture top form and fitness.