Out-of-favour Sunderland midfielder Seb Larsson will look to put himself in the shop window at the European Championships – after admitting he feels ‘fresh’ and ready to go.
Larsson struggled to land a first-team spot under Sam Allardyce in the latter part of the season, despite the Black Cats fighting against relegation.
The Swede has just 12 months left on his contract, and it looks like his five-year stay on Wearside will come to an end this summer.
But despite being unable to regularly break into the Sunderland side, Larsson is a key member of Sweden’s Euro 16 squad.
And he believes his lack of game time under Allardyce has helped him feel ‘in good shape’ ahead of the tournament.
Larsson played 90 minutes in Sunday’s 3-0 win over Wales in their final warm-up, having also featured for the full game against Slovakia a week ago, a match that ended goalless.
And he says those two run-outs gave him the confidence that his fitness was not an issue.
He said: “Even if I was not worried about the physical element, I received a reassurance that it was not a problem.
“The training and the matches that I’ve had have made me feel in good shape.
“It’s not often you feel completely fresh going into the summer internationals or before the championships.
“It’s usually the other way around, but now it feels good.”
Larsson was used sparingly under Allardyce last season, mainly featuring from the bench although he did start the final game of the season, the dead rubber against Watford,
His limited appearances mean he is likely to be one of the players Allardyce looks to move on this summer as he seeks to remodel his Sunderland squad.
Larsson’s agent, Per Jonsson, admitted in April that the player – who turned 31 yesterday – would look to quit Wearside if the club were relegated.
And that is unlikely to have changed despite Sunderland betaing the drop.
“He has one year left on his contract which expires in the summer of 2017.
“It is clear that there will be a queue of clubs interested in him.
“He has a very good reputation and is still a very good player, with more to give.”
Larsson joined Sunderland in 2011 on a free transfer after leaving Birmingham City.
He has won more international caps while playing for the Black Cats than any other player in the club’s history.