Rowell Report: Altidore stood out from Sunderland’s new boys

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist

Gary Rowell, former Sunderland player and now Echo columnist

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I DON’T think any of Sunderland’s new signings had a bad game against Fulham, the trouble was none of them were particularly outstanding either.

But if I had to pick the one who impressed me the most, then I would go for Jozy Altidore.

I know he didn’t score, but I thought he looked promising in other areas of his game and I think there is much more to come.

He netted a hat-trick for the USA last week so there are goals in him and I hope he gets his first for Sunderland as quickly as possible, as that will immediately take the pressure off.

What I liked about Altidore was his hold-up play and how he brought his team-mates into the team by being physically imposing.

Unfortunately his partnership with Stephane Sessegnon did not really fire and there was not that much link-up play between them.

But I think that was more down to Sessegnon, who to me, looked out of sorts.

I do believe that if Altidore gets decent service, he will cause problems and opposition defenders won’t particularly relish a physical battle with him.

If he improves his finishing, that will bring another dimension to his game and after all, goals are the yardstick for any frontman.

No matter how well you play as a striker, you know you are judged on how many times you hit the back of the net.

When Steven Fletcher regains full fitness, it will be interesting to see if Paolo Di Canio plays them together or if one will be restricted to the bench.

But it is a good problem to have and at the moment, Altidore will lead the line and I hope he bags his first goal for us at Southampton on Saturday.