Jordi Gomez aims to grasp his second Sunderland shot

Jordi Gomez is determined to prove himself at Sunderland, a club he could have joined in the past

Action Images Jordi Gomez
Jordi Gomez

Jordi Gomez has revealed he almost joined Sunderland - and Middlesbrough - “in the past”.

But relishing his second spell in the Premier League - having played top-flight football for Wigan Athletic between 2009 and 2013 - the Spanish star insists he is determined to make the most of this belated opportunity.

Gomez is one of three new Black Cats signings, along with goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon and defender Billy Jones.

A midfielder also capable of filling the ‘No 10’ role behind a line-leading striker, the 29-year-old admits he is unsure how long he will take to “gel” with his new teammates.

But having been attracted to Gus Poyet’s possession-based playing style following spells with Swansea City and the Latics, Gomez is keen to prove himself at the Stadium of Light, having taken little time to settle in on Wearside.

“It’s been OK,” said Gomez.

“It’s been five weeks but it’s been good. Everyone has been good to me, so I’ve been happy.

“After Wigan I really wanted to play in the Premier League again. I have the chance now, so I will take it.

“I spent one year in the Championship. We tried to get back the next season but we couldn’t, so I was comfortable and decided to come here and I’m really happy with that.

“I nearly came here a few years ago. I’ve had the chance to join Middlesbrough and Sunderland in the past.

“I wasn’t going to go to a team that plays long balls. I always want to play for a team where the manager plays a little bit more football, so I’m really happy to come here.

“The manager has similar ideas and the style is like we had at Swansea and Wigan.

“He will want to get the best team he can. That’s good for the team and also the club.

“I don’t know if it will be difficult to gel or not. Sometimes that can take a long time, other times it just happens. If you have good players you have a very good chance of having a good season.”

Preparations for the coming campaign begin in earnest today, when Sunderland take on Evo-Stik North side Darlington 1883, at Ebac Northern League club Bishop Auckland’s Heritage Park.

They then face pre-season friendlies at Carlisle United and Hartlepool United, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.

And Gomez is relishing the opportunity to play in front of North East crowds, and in the Premier League.

“I like the passion from the fans and the atmosphere in the games,” he said. “I think it’s a really good league, so that’s why when I left Wigan. I wanted to stay here.

Meanwhile, Sunderland have been linked with Atletico Madrid winger Cristian Rodriguez.

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