Juventus star thrilled with Sunderland move

Emanuele Giaccherini

Emanuele Giaccherini

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EMANUELE Giaccherini says he feels nothing but excitement about the challenge ahead of him at Sunderland.

The 28-year-old Italian international, who yesterday signed a four-year deal with the Black Cats, has been part of a successful Juventus side which retained the league title last season.

And Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio has made it clear to the player that he has a key part to play at the Stadium of Light next season.

Giaccherini said: “I’m really happy.

“I want to do great things for Sunderland – I arrive here with great enthusiasm, a desire to do well, to start again.

“The Premier is the best league in the world and I’m ready.

“I’m feeling some beautiful sensations. This is a wonderful adventure.”

“I spoke with Paolo Di Canio and I think he will be fundamental for me, seeing as I don’t know the language very well.”

Giaccherini played 21 times for Juventus last season and on 23 occasions in the previous campaign.

And in some respects he has the same opportunity that Sunderland midfielder Adam Johnson took up last summer when he left Manchester City – a squad player at the league champions coming to a club where he can expect to start every week.

Not that Giaccherini has any hard feelings against his former club or coach Antonio Conte, who oversaw a quick move away from the Juventus Stadium.

Conte admitted last week he had only agreed to the sale because he needed to finance reinforcements – signings like Carlos Tevez.

And the ex-Cesena winger credits Conte with bringing out the best in him in the last two seasons, helping him earn a regular place in the Italian national squad.

The £6.5m signing said: “I want to thank coach Conte, who gave me the opportunity to emerge in these two years, to get to where I have arrived.

“I think most of the credit for that belongs to him – I thank him and I’ll do that over the telephone too.

“I’ve reached the national side and I want to keep a tight grip on that – hopefully this new adventure will push me to get to the World Cup.”

Giaccherini can expect to be plunged straight into action with his new club in next week’s Barclays Asia Trophy as Di Canio looks to integrate one of his star signings immediately into the squad.

The midfielder trained with his new team-mates for the first time yesterday and is likely to be heavily involved next week as pre-season preparations step up to a new level.

The Black Cats face Tottenham Hotspur next Wednesday before a finals weekend game against either Manchester City or South China FC.

Out-of-favour Phil Bardsley is omitted from the squad that goes to Hong Kong, while Lee Cattermole and Steven Fletcher continue their rehabilitation from injuries.

Sunderland squad: Mannone, Pickford, Westwood, Brown, Cuellar, Diakite, Roberge, O’Shea, Ba, Cabral, Colback, Gardner, Johnson, Larsson, McClean, Moberg Karlsson, N’Diaye, Vaughan, Altidore, Ji, Mandron, Sessegnon, Wickham.