The Italian that could be like a new signing for Sunderland this season

Sunderland Gates

Following a difficult start to life on Wearside, Emanuele Giaccherini could almost be like a new signing for Sunderland this season.

The acquisition of Giaccherini was seen to be something of a coup last summer, with The Black Cats unexpectedly landing the 29-year-old from Italian champions Juventus.

The midfielder had recently returned to club duty after an impressive showing in The Confederations Cup, where he was arguably Azzuri's player of the tournament.

Following the departure of Giaccherini, Juventus manager Antonio Conte spoke openly regarding his deep disappointment, and there was even some speculation to suggest the 44-year-old would stand down from his post in protest - although such circumstances never did materialise. 

Whatever the situation was concerning Giaccherini's exit from Juventus,Sunderland didn't care. They had their man. A first team regular in the peak of his career signed from one of Europe's top elite, this was a landmark signing for the club, and expectations were growing on Wearside. 

Unfortunately however for both club and player the 5"6 Italian was largely innocuous during his first six months at Sunderland, and by January there was talk of the midfielder leaving the Stadium of Light.

But as the winter transfer window came and went Giaccherini was still on Wearside, and the Italian slowly but surely began to make an impact under Gus Poyet.

Towards the end of the season Giaccherini proved to be a pivotal player for The Black Cats, and helped to turn games with his valuable impact from the substitute bench.

It's arguable that the scale Giaccherini's contribution went largely unnoticed on Wearside, and the Italian was in fact a vital cog in Poyet's side that went on to achieve a remarkable Premier League survival. 

It's uncertain what exactly triggered the sudden change in fortunes for Giaccherini, was it the midfielder gradually adapting to the rigours of the English game? or was it the fact that Poyet had begun to utilise Giaccherini through the middle? - a position the Italian was familiar with from his time at Juventus.

Whatever it was Sunderland's landmark summer signing was beginning to show why he had been a favourite at the Italian champions. You only need to look at The Black Cat's 4-0 win over Cardiff City in April to see just how much Giaccherini finding form meant to the rest of the squad. 

The Italian added an almost unimportant 4th goal the victory over the Welsh side, only to be swamped by just about every single one of his team-mates in celebration, who showed an unbelievable demonstration of their appreciation for the Italian. 

Giaccherini's team-mates clearly see a player in there, and the events which unfolded at the Stadium of Light on that day in particular indicates that if Sunderland can unleash Giaccherini's full potential, then it could be like having a completely new singing this season. 

To be a true success the 29-year-old will need to prove that he can take his ability to impact a game from the bench, and convert that into regular first team performances. But the Italian looks set to have a chance to do just that, following a statement from his agent which claims he will snub advances from Galatasaray in favour of staying put and proving his worth at the Stadium of Light.

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