New signing Ola Toivonen says he will still need to adapt to his new team-mates - even if he needs no introductions to Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat.
Swedish international Toivonen today finalised a season-long loan switch to the Stadium of Light from French side Rennes, to become Sunderland’s sixth signing of the transfer window.
Toivonen enjoyed a successful season working under Advocaat at former club PSV Eindhoven, which prompted the Sunderland boss to track the 29-year-old throughout this summer.
But while Toivonen is familiar with Advocaat’s methods, he believes he will still need to acclimatise to his first taste of the Premier League - which could begin at Aston Villa tomorrow.
Toivonen - who has signed purely on loan, without a permanent clause - said: “We worked for a year together at PSV and it worked very well.
“I’m excited to work with him again.
“The coach is one thing, but you need to have a bit of patience when you come to a new club because you need to adapt to new team-mates.”
However, Toivonen does already know two members of Sunderland squad, having played alongside midfielder Seb Larsson for Sweden and winger Jeremain Lens at PSV.
He said: “I already knew Sebastian of course from the national team. We’ve played for five or six years together.
“And of course I know Jeremain from our two years together at PSV.
“That helps a lot. It’s always nice to have someone around you if you have some questions about the club or team-mates.
“We played well with Jeremain. He’s a fantastic winger with some incredible speed and he can provide good crosses to the strikers.”
Toivonen was primarily used as an attacking midfielder by Advocaat at PSV, although he can also operate as a striker.
“I like to play easy football - play and go, and combine with the midfielders, wingers or striker,” he added.
“But when the cross comes, I always want to be in the box to help the striker score the goals.”