Liverpool striker Fabio Borini has revealed Jordan Henderson and Simon Mignolet persuaded him to move to Sunderland on loan.
Borini, 22, had been unable to force his way into the first-team reckoning at Anfield after securing a move from Roma last summer and will look to kickstart his career on Wearside.
The Italy international said he had consulted Henderson and Mignolet -- both former Sunderland players -- before making the move.
“I asked them a few things about Sunderland, about the training ground, the fans and where I should live,” Borini said on the club’s official website. “They gave me some advice and obviously Jordan is from Sunderland, so it’s his home, and Simon was really happy for me to come here because he said it would be the right place for me.”
Borini was also swayed by the efforts of compatriot Paolo Di Canio, he said.
“He made an important movement for me because he looked for me and really wanted me here at the club,” he added. “That showed me the desire from him to get me here to the club. I know the way he plays football so it’s good to be here. It’s the right place to come and play a good way of football. Working with an Italian manager and an all-Italian staff will hopefully be good for me.
“It feels good to make the move because I was waiting for it. I was waiting for my chance to play and I needed to play after a season of injuries. This was the best option for me. Playing every week is very important for me to get my achievements and goals for the season.”
Meanwhile, Andrea Dossena, who moved to Sunderland from Napoli on deadline day, said he was relishing the chance to play at the Stadium of Light after sampling the atmosphere during his time as a Liverpool player.
“I’m really looking forward to it. My first game for Liverpool was against Sunderland and I remember the stadium; the atmosphere was amazing,” Dossena said. “I’m very happy to come back to England and now I can start to work with an Italian manager. I know his kind of football, his kind of work. He works hard and tries to do his best on the pitch.”
The former Italy international, 31, had joined Liverpool in 2008 but was sold to Napoli two years later after failing to prove himself.
“It was an easy decision to come to Sunderland,” he added. “The Premier League is the most beautiful league in the world. I left in 2010, but I was angry to leave this country and now I’ve come back because I think I can do my best for Sunderland.”