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Jul 10, 2013

Jozy Altidore raring to go

New Sunderland signing Jozy Altidore says he cannot wait to get his Black Cats career underway.

• Heneage: What to expect
• Blog: Altidore antidote

Altidore, 23, completed his move from AZ Alkmaar for an undisclosed fee - believed to be in the region of £8.5 million - on Tuesday.

And Sunderland's sixth summer signing will now join up with his new team-mates at their pre-season training camp in Italy - something he is very much looking forward to.

"I'm excited. Anybody who knows anything about football knows that the Premier League, when you look at everything as a full package, is the biggest league in the world," he told the club's official website. "I'm thrilled to be here and I'm looking forward to getting adjusted as quickly as possible.

"It's a fantastic club, everyone here is so welcoming. I'm really excited about this season - it has everything here, all the combinations to be a big club, so I'm really excited to be a part of it.''

The United States international's first experience of Premier League football in a Sunderland shirt will come when the Black Cats kick-off their campaign against Fulham at the Stadium of Light. And Altidore is relishing the opportunity of performing in front of 40,000 Wearsiders.

"It's great, it's part of taking that next step as a player," he said. "To be able to play in front of a stadium like that is going to be really exciting - I hope they like what I do on the pitch. Everybody, I'm sure, is excited to get the season off to a good start and I'm no different.

"I can't wait to meet the guys, meet the coaching staff and get acclimatised as soon as possible. I'm just going to give everything I can to the team, that's the biggest thing, to get the respect of your team-mates and when you do that, I think everything will fall into place. I'll just give my all for the club. I really appreciate the club making the investment in me as a player and I want to give that back.''

Altidore has experienced English football before, having spent the 2009-10 season on loan at Hull City.

The striker made 28 appearances for the Tigers, netting just one goal, but Altidore feels it was his time in East Yorkshire that gave his career the grounding it so desperately needed.

"I think it was really important for me [to play at Hull City]," he told the Shields Gazette. "I had no experience of European football anywhere, so going to Hull was good for me to get my feet wet and start playing.

"I learned a lot about myself and I look back on it as an experience which helped to shape me into the player I am today. After playing in it, I knew it was a league that if you got the chance to play in, you should do so as long as possible. I really appreciate the club making the investment in me as a player and I want to give that back."

Meanwhile, reports in the Italian media claim that Sunderland are close to completing a deal for Juventus midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini. There is also talk that Velez Sarsfield full-back Gino Peruzzi's proposed move to the Stadium of Light could be revived after discussions between the two parties stalled earlier this week.

Elsewhere, Sunderland will also attempt to persuade midfielder Jack Colback that his future lies at the club after he rejected the offer of a new contract.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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