Black Cats boss says American is not the same player who featured for Hull in the 2009-10 campaign
Sunderland head coach Paolo Di Canio has backed new signing Jozy Altidore to prove his many critics wrong and show that he can make it as a front man in the English Premier League next season, according to reports in the Daily Mail.
The muscular United States international is back for a second spell in the top flight after a disastrous time spent on loan with Hull City in 2009-10, when the striker managed to find the back of the net on just two occasions in his 30 matches in total in all competitions for the Tigers, including only one strike in his 28 Premier League contests as the club were relegated to the Championship come the end of that campaign.
However, Di Canio says that the Black Cats have bought a different forward who is now more mature and confident in front of goal, after the Italian signed the 23-year-old from Eredivisie outfit AZ Alkmaar last month on a four-year deal for an undisclosed fee.
And what is more, the Sunderland boss has also confidently predicted that his new attacker will net between 15 and 17 goals in the new season.
“I have brought him in and I don’t hope, I am sure he will be a success and with his characteristics he will score many goals,” said Di Canio.
“He can play very well for the team and can score lots of goals. His main part is to score goals and to help the others.
“He is a modern footballer. He can make lovely movements and we expect that he will score many goals for us. I don’t know a number, but it won’t be two obviously, maybe 15 or 17. He will do it if he uses his energy like he did last night in the national team. He has desire and pride and I think this environment here will help him. We spent a good amount of money on him.
“This is a player who did not have a fantastic experience three years ago at Hull but he was young and in which environment? We don’t know. It wasn’t top level, but he left, grew up and went around Europe. He finished last year with a very good goals tally in a different league. You don’t score those numbers of goals if you are not quality.
“He has come back and he is the kind of quality I need. He is the size I need. He is a modern footballer. He jumps hard and he is an animal. He attacks every space and his first touch is good. He is fantastic finisher and that is a good mixture. We will play good football to help him to score and he is going to have a big part to play this year. All the signals that we have seen are positive.”