JOZY Altidore admits his loan spell at Hull City gave him the hunger to return to the Premier League.
Altidore’s move to the Stadium of Light was finalised last night – three years after the American international’s last appearance in England.
The striker netted just once in 28 appearances for Hull during the 2009-10 campaign after being sent on loan by Spanish side Villarreal.
But despite that modest goal return, Altidore says his stint at the KC Stadium proved to be a learning experience, and he was keen for a second chance to make an impact in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old said: “I think it was really important for me.
“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 it, 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.”
Altidore linked up with his new team-mates at Sunderland’s pre-season training camp in Italy yesterday after agreeing personal terms with the Black Cats on Monday.
Several clubs, including Lazio, had been interested in Altidore after his 31 goals for Alkmaar last season.
But he believes moving to Sunderland comes at the right stage of his career after proving his abilities as a goalscorer in the Dutch league.
“Anybody that knows anything about football knows the Premier League is the full package, it’s the biggest league in the world,” added Altidore to the club’s website.
“I’m thrilled to be here, and I’m looking forward to getting adjusted as quickly as possible.
“It’s a fantastic club, and I’m really excited about the season. I hope the fans like what I do on the pitch.”