KI Sung-Yueng has claimed he opted to return to Swansea City after his loan spell at Sunderland last season because the Welsh side is the “better team”.
Ki – who scored for the Swans in Saturday’s 1-1 draw between the teams – says he had the option of remaining with the Black Cats last summer.
However, Sunderland opted against making a bid to sign the South Korea international permanently after being quoted a figure of £10m for the 26-year-old.
The midfielder, though, claims he could have stayed with Gus Poyet’s side, but is glad he remained with a “better team” who play “better football” with “better players”.
Ki was quoted by the BBC as saying: “I had the choice, Swansea or Sunderland, but I think Swansea is the better team.
“Swansea play better football, Swansea have better players to be fair – that’s why we are higher up the table.
“I’m really happy to be in the squad, to play for Swansea. This is a great time to be playing with these guys.”
Ki does, though, feel his season-long loan spell at the Stadium of Light was significant in helping him progress as a player.
He added: “Gus Poyet made me grow up a little bit more and, this season, Garry Monk gave me a fair chance in the team and then my confidence has grown.
“Even though Garry spoke to me and I was in his plans, I had to show that on the pitch.
“I have to show Garry that I’m capable of playing for Swansea, so I have to work hard. That’s why I’m settled with the players and Garry.”