Ross Stewart explains Sunderland to Southampton transfer and provides injury update after deadline-day switch
Ross Stewart has been discussing his transfer from Sunderland to Southampton on transfer deadline day.
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Ross Stewart says he’s very lucky to have spent two exciting seasons at Sunderland but is now hoping to reach the Premier League with new club Southampton.
The 27-year-old completed his switch to St Mary’s on transfer deadline day, following conversations with Saints boss Russell Martin, who also tried to sign the striker at MK Dons, and director of football Jason Wilcox.
“Southampton is a massive club,” Stewart told the club’s website. “In recent years it’s been a Premier League club and for me it’s a great challenge to come down here and play football for a team that’s going to be competing at the top of the league.”
“I know the aim is going to be to get back there, and personal ambitions I want to play in the Premier League so I thought it was a perfect fit.
“Obviously I’d spoken with Russell before with him being manager at MK Dons. His teams play great football and are really tough to play against.
“Everything he was saying to me was really positive so that always makes the decision easier. Since him and Jason got in touch it’s been the move that I wanted so I’m delighted to be here.”
Stewart spent two full seasons at Sunderland after arriving on Wearside from SPL side Ross County in January 2021.
When asked about the switch to English football, Stewart replied: “I think the test both physically and mentally, there’s a lot more games down here on the schedule and a lot of tougher teams I think as a whole.
“It was always something I wanted to do, come to England and challenge myself down here. To get the opportunity to do it at such a big club like Sunderland and now at Southampton, I’m very lucky to do so.
“It’s been an exciting two years so far and a very enjoyable two years, and hopefully a lot more years to come.”
Stewart started all 46 league games and three play-off fixtures as Sunderland won promotion from League One during the 2021/22 season - a campaign he thinks will help him at Southampton.
“It will be very useful,” he said. “I think the amount of games I played in that season and being part of a winning environment. I’m sure, hopefully it’s the case here.
“It will be useful. This is a club we want to be challenging at the top of this league and get back to where it should be, which is the Premier League.
“Having done that in League One, hopefully I can do that again here and will try and give everything I can to make that happen. Hopefully I can come in and be a good part of the group.”
Stewart is still recovering from an Achilles injury he suffered in January this year, but has previously said he could return by the end of September.
“It’s going well,” he replied when asked about the injury.
“I‘m hoping to not be too far away. It’s certainly as close as I’ve been to being back as I’ve felt in a long time, six, seven months whatever it’s been.
“Hopefully now the games are on the horizon and I just can’t wait to be back.”