New Sunderland midfielder Ricky Alvarez has revealed his delight at sealing a deadline day move to the Premier League, and has vowed to hit the ground running for the Black Cats.
Alvarez, 26, arrives at the Stadium Light from Inter Milan on a season-long loan deal, with a view to a permanent £8.5 million switch, and the Argentine international has revealed what fans can expected from him on the pitch.
‘I’m very much looking forward to getting under way,’ he told the club’s official website. ‘I’m very happy to be here and it’s a new challenge for me really, so I’m very hopeful for the future.
‘The Premier League really is the best league in the world so the idea of coming over here was one I liked, and now I’m extremely happy.
‘I’m an attacking player, and one who likes to create opportunities and problems for the opposition. I’m also a player who when his side hasn’t got the ball will try to help defensively, because nowadays it’s extremely important that players know how to do both of these things.’
First joining Inter from Velez Sarsfield in the summer of 2011 for €12.8 million, Alvarez made 30 total appearances for the Italian side last season, scoring four goals and assisting eight in the process.
Having earned nine international caps for Argentina since his 2011 debut, he was also a part of Alejandro Sabella’s World Cup squad this summer, but his lone appearance during the side’s run to the final came as a substitute in the final half-hour of the third group game against Nigeria.
Briefly appearing in the team’s 4-2 friendly win over Germany in midweek, Alvarez further revealed how Sunderland manager Gus Poyet convinced him to make the move to the north east, and is looking forward to joining up with old teammate Santiago Vergini, who he played with at Velez.
‘I’ve had the opportunity to speak to Poyet on a number of occasions and he really does seem like a very good coach,’ he said. ‘He spoke to me about how keen he was to have me here so that really has made me very hopeful, and I’m looking forward to starting training with the rest of the squad.
‘I’ve also known Santi now for a long time. He’s a really great guy so I’m sure that he’s going to help me to get to know the club and my new teammates. That’ll really be a great help for me.’
It remains to be seen whether the playmaker will be called upon for Saturday’s home game against Tottenham Hotspur, but he insists that he is ready if Poyet opts to give him his Premier League debut.
'Yes, I'm going to be training with the side and getting to know them, and if the manager decides then well yes, I'm ready.'