Lynden Gooch explains tough Sunderland decision in emotional interview after Stoke City transfer

Lynden Gooch has been reflecting on his time at Sunderland following his move to Stoke City on transfer deadline day.

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Lynden Gooch admits it was the right time to leave Sunderland after over a decade at the club.

The 27-year-old, who came through the academy on Wearside, completed his move to Stoke on transfer deadline day, signing a two-year deal at the bet365 Stadium for an undisclosed fee.

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“It has been tough obviously, but I think it is the right decision,” Gooch told Sunderland’s website during a goodbye interview.

“I’ve had a great time here, fantastic memories and tough times as well but that’s what makes the good times even better.

“I think it was just a natural time for it to finish the way it has. I’ve been able to go out on my terms as well after a good season last year.

“I think it’s the right time to move on.”

He added: “My proudest moments is having the kids at the Stadium of Light watching me and my fiancée.

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“It’s going to be tough for all the family, not just me and the kids and Talia, but obviously all of her family here in Sunderland.

“It’s going to be a big change but it’s been fantastic and my kids will be Sunderland fans. They said the other day that Sunderland would win straight away so it’s always going to be a part of us.

“Walking out as captain with my son is something I’ll never forget. That probably means the most for me for sure.”

Gooch made his Premier League debut in 2016 against Manchester City and experienced back-to-back relegations before finally helping the Black Cats return to the Championship.

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“It’s been really tough,” he added. “I came into the first team and the club was in a bad way. We were just fighting relegation year after year and eventually it caught up.

“Unfortunately for me I was trying to make my breakthrough in them times which was really tough, but I still got to play in the Premier League which was always my dream.

“Obviously getting relegated to League One was extremely tough, losing the play-off final and the Checkatrade Trophy, I was starting to think when am I ever going to have some success here.

“Eventually it paid off after a long while and a lot of hard work, so there are a lot of great memories even after the tough times.”

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He added: “I knew how much it meant to everyone and think at times, I think people could see I probably took everything to heart a lot and probably tried too hard at times which probably affected my performances. That’s only because I cared so much and wanted the club to do well.

“As I got older I kind of realised that I couldn’t do it all by myself, so eventually we had the success and I’m really proud of that.”

Gooch was also a popular member in the dressing room at Sunderland and will be missed by his former teammates.

“I think the past two years especially we’ve had a really special group,” he said. “A great core of players, and that’s something I’ll miss deeply.

“I have made some great friendships, obviously Danny (Batth) is moving on as well, and I’m going to miss all the lads definitely.”