USA flop Jozy Altidore says Sunderland is ‘tough place to play’

STRUGGLE ... Altidore.
STRUGGLE ... Altidore.

JOZY Altidore admits he wasn’t the right “fit” for Sunderland after the end of his ill-fated 18 month spell at the Stadium of Light.

Altidore’s miserable Sunderland career ended on a rare positive note last week when his involvement in a swap deal allowed England international Jermain Defoe to return to the Premier League from Toronto FC by penning a three-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light.

The USA international continued to be prolific for his country following his £7million move from AZ Alkmaar, yet found the net just once for Sunderland in 42 Premier League appearances.

Altidore, currently on a US training camp after agreeing a five-year deal with Toronto, believes his move to Sunderland was simply a transfer that didn’t work, particularly after the man who signed him – Paolo Di Canio – was sacked only six games into last season.

“I just don’t think we fit,” Altidore told ESPN.

“I didn’t fit for Sunderland and Sunderland didn’t fit for me. Sometimes that happens.

“I tried to play in different ways, but it just didn’t fit.

“I’m a certain player and they play a certain way. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

“It didn’t go as anybody planned.

“There was ideas, a way to play and after a month, it got thrown out the window. I don’t think it was how anybody wanted it to go.

“If you go down the line, I don’t think anybody has it easy there.

“It’s a tough place to play – there’s no other way to put it.

“But I still was appreciative of it.

“The fans were fantastic, the stadium was great, and I thank everybody there for when I was there and how they treated me.”