Yann M’Vila has gone on the record, speaking to the club's official website, to explain why he has opted to sign for Sunderland this summer.
The 25-year-old midfielder has long been tipped for big things and spent last season on loan with Inter Milan in Italy.
But after the Nerazzurri opted against making the Frenchman’s move to the San Siro a permanent one, Sunderland stepped in with the France international signing for the Black Cats this week.
Once linked with Arsenal - by the likes of the Express - having drawn comparisons with France World Cup winner Patrick Vieira in the past, a move to the North East represents something of a surprise.
Sunderland struggled for long periods of the season last year and could be embroiled in another relegation battle this term.
But speaking to the official Sunderland website, M’Vila explained that he is “very happy” to have signed with the club and almost immediately knew that it was the kind of club where he could thrive.
The midfielder said: “I had a very good feeling training with the team; every player welcomed me and the feeling was very good with them so I’m excited for the start of the season.”
More importantly, the move has also allowed the Frenchman to fulfil a major career ambition: “I’ve also wanted to play in the Barclays Premier League for a long time so I’m very happy to be here.”
Capped 22 times by France to date, M’Vila was part of the squad that reached the quarterfinals of Euro 2012.
Prior to his stay at Inter, the 25-year-old was with Russian side Rubin Kazan, though he made just 24 league appearances for the club after arriving from Rennes in 2013.