Lynden Gooch has revealed that there were clubs interested in him during this summer - but he had eyes only for Sunderland.
Speaking to American Soccer Now in his homeland, the attacking midfielder said he didn’t entertain any offers as he was keen to repay faith the Black Cats had shown in him.
And despite having just endured the ‘hardest’ two years of his career, Gooch sees happier times ahead under the stewardship of Jack Ross.
“I knew there would be interest elsewhere but this is the club I’ve been with a really long time and I would do anything to get the club back where it belongs,” he said.
“The manager really made me feel that I would be an integral part of the team from day one.
“The past two years have been some of the hardest of my life, let alone in my career being involved with two successive relegations.
“The club obviously means a lot to me. Without the club, I wouldn’t be a professional footballer. They really invested in me and worked to give the best opportunity to have a career in the game.
“So the club means a lot to me and I hope we can finish the season on a happy note.”
Gooch has impressed in Sunderland’s early season outings and is hoping that his eye-catching form could lead to an international recall.
His last call-up came in May, but the Black Cat is hoping that interim coach Dave Sarachan could hand an opportunity in the near future.
“Of course I want to play with the national team as much as I can,” he admitted. “There is no doubt about that. I’ve always been proud of the four occasions I’ve been able to play with them. It’s an exciting time.
“There are new players and there will be a new manager. It’s a young group and it’s something I want to be a part of.”