Sunderland move is reward for all my hard work, says record signing Didier Ndong
Record signing Didier Ndong says his move to Sunderland is aÂ reward for all the hard work he has put in.
The 22-year-old Gabon international signed for the Black Cats on deadline day for a club record Â£13.6million fee from Ligue 1 side Lorient.
Ndong has been away on international duty and only arrived at the Academy of Light on Friday but he is in contention for the Premier League game with Everton at the Stadium of Light on Monday night.
Ndong trained with his new teammates for the first time on Saturday and he is relishing life in the English top flight.
"Playing in the Premier League is a childhood dream which has come true and it’s a reward for the hard work I’ve put in during the last four years as a professional, but now I’m here it’s up to me to prove that I’m worthy of being here," he said.
"I want to show the talent I’ve got and demonstrate why I’m good enough to stay here, and if I’m selected against Everton hopefully I can show the Sunderland fans that I’m worthy and that I’m going to give everything for this club.
"I’m delighted to be here because I’ve been waiting for a while but on the last day of the window we finally made the deal happen.
"I can’t wait to meet up with my team-mates at my first training session and together we’re going to give everything we can.
"It is a squad game and even if I don’t play I will be at the stadium to cheer on my team-mates – we win and lose as a squad and I will always be there.
"If I don’t play on Monday I’ll be at the Stadium of Light and hopefully, as a team, we can get the three points and really get our season underway."
Ndong is the second player to arrive at Sunderland from Lorient in 2016, with Ivory Coast international Lamine Kone signing in January.
The pair know each other well and Ndong is looking forward to teaming up the defender again
He added: "We got on really well on and off the pitch.
"It is really nice to come here and to play alongside him again."
Ndong has also outlined the qualities Sunderland fans can expect from him when he does make his debut for the club.
He added: "I like a physical battle, to win possession quickly and get the ball at my feet, a real box-to-box midfield player.
"I like to get the ball and move forward as quickly as I can, to win possession back quickly.
"I love to have a shot too. That is a strength of mine.
"I love having the ball at my feet, I am quick and direct."