Emanuele Giaccherini insists his spell with Sunderland was “wonderful” – despite quitting the club to return to Italy.
And the playmaker claims that he is not averse to a return to English football one day.
The experience in England was wonderful and I would do it again.
Giaccherini has signed a season-long loan deal with Serie A club Bologna, having failed to make a significant impact at the Stadium of Light in the last two years.
The 30-year-old moved to Wearside in a £6.5million switch from Juventus in July 2013, having been one of the most high-profile signings of the ill-fated Paolo Di Canio and Roberto De Fanti reign.
But a series of injuries has curtailed his availability, leading to just 18 Premier League starts and 43 appearances in total.
The player has expressed his delight at returning to his homeland, and has targeted a place in the Italy squad at Euro 2016 firmly in his thoughts.
But Giaccherini says he “grew as a player” over the last two seasons, when he has been impressed by a “model football system”.
“I am back in Italy with great enthusiasm and happiness, (and) also with a lot of desire to get back into the game and do everything for Bologna,” he said.
“I immediately said ‘Yes’ when I was called.
“This is a historic club that have won so much and have big ambitions.
“The experience in England was wonderful and I would do it again.
“I grew as a player because it is a completely different type of football compared to our own and with a model football system, in my opinion.”
Giaccherini still has a further two years left on his contract, and was keen to prove himself in the Premier League.
Sources in Italy claim Bologna have paid Sunderland a £183,500 loan fee for Giaccherini, and agreed to meet £735,000 of his wages.
Sunderland were keen to get the Italian international off their wage bill, with Dick Advocaat ruling that the player was unsuited to the rigours of English football.
Only Vito Mannone and Charis Mavrias now remain at Sunderland from De Fanti’s 2013 summer signings.