Andrea Dossena is desperate to make a success of his second shot at the Premier League with new club Sunderland.
The Black Cats new boy was a £7m capture for Liverpool back in 2011 but made only 18 appearances before returning to Serie A.
That unhappy experience failed to put the left-back off when the opportunity of a return was mooted over the weekend, with the 31-year-old jumping at the chance to join Paolo Di Canio’s “revolution”.
A season-long loan from Napoli will give him the chance to prove his Premier League doubters wrong while also finally filling the left-back slot that has troubled Sunderland for several seasons.
As a natural wing-back, Di Canio hopes Dossena will offer threat moving forward as well as defensive experience. He has certainly landed a motivated player, with Dossena claiming he would step on to the pitch right now if he was offered the chance.
He said: “It’s easy for me to decide to come to Sunderland. I’m very happy to be here to come back to England in the Premier League.
“I’m very happy because I start to work with an Italian head coach and I know his kind of football, his kind of work; he worked hard and tried to do his best on the pitch and it’s the same from my career.
“The Premier League is the (most) beautiful league in the world; I left the Premier League in 2010 and now I come back because I think that I can do my best for Sunderland.
“I want to go out on the pitch in one hour. I hope that I will feature in the Arsenal game.”
Dossena has good memories of Wearside from his first spell in the Premier League, and recalls the Stadium of Light as having an “amazing” atmosphere. He says that the Black Cats supporters were a key reason for choosing to return to England.
“My first game for Liverpool was against Sunderland and I remember the fantastic stadium, the atmosphere was very amazing, and now I can see that the club is a great organisation and all the staff try to do the best for my work.
“The fans are very important for a player because they are the 12th player on the pitch; when you go in the stadium you can feel the atmosphere, you can feel the support on the team – for me it’s important, I want to do my best for the team and for the supporters.”
While Dossena hopes for the chance to impress, Sunderland have drawn a line under Phil Bardsley’s suspension as the defender returns to the Black Cats fold.
The Scotland international was suspended for posting a comment on Instagram that seemed to mock Sunderland’s opening day defeat against Fulham and after serving a fortnight’s suspension he has been allowed back into the club.
His future still lies elsewhere and he is likely to depart on loan as soon as he has recovered from a broken foot. Sheffield Wednesday were understood to be interested in the right-back and may return for him.
The defender apologised to the Black Cats supporters in a statement released on the club’s website last night.
“I would like to apologise to the club and supporters for my comments made on social media,” he said.
“I understand how they may have been interpreted and it was a serious error of judgement.
“I accept the punishment that has been handed to me by the football club and will now focus my attention and efforts on rehabilitation and regaining my fitness.”