Seb Larsson says Sunderland’s dressing room has been given a lift by a much-needed injection of “quality” new signings.
Incoming pair Younes Kaboul and Jeremain Lens are both expected to make their Sunderland debuts against Toronto tomorrow, as the Black Cats round off their pre-season trip here in North America against the MLS outfit.
Sunderland splashed out more than £10million to bring ex-Spurs centre-half Kaboul and Dutch international Lens to the Stadium of Light last week, with head coach Dick Advocaat holding talks with chairman Ellis Short in Toronto yesterday over the extent of the transfer kitty for further new recruits.
And while supporters have welcomed that transfer activity – particularly if there are another couple of recruits – midfielder Larsson says the players have been equally keen to see fresh faces boasting some pedigree after last season’s struggles in the relegation dogfight.
Larsson said: “We needed that quality coming in. That’s what we were looking for.
“We want people playing in the right positions, who can only improve us.
“Kaboul is someone who has been there and done it and done really well.
“Hopefully he comes in and is a very good signing for us.
“And Lens, you don’t get 30 caps for Holland if you’re a rubbish player.
“It’s been good to meet them and the rest of the boys.
“I think it’s given the squad a lift and we look a much stronger outfit.”
Larsson has been part of a Sunderland side that has narrowly avoided falling into the Championship for each of the last three seasons, and has again reiterated that if the Black Cats continue to play with fire, they will eventually suffer relegation.
But with Advocaat extending his Sunderland tenure and a focus this summer on signing players who immediately improve the starting XI, Larsson hopes the Wearsiders can break the cycle of annual struggle.
“We know we have to improve this season, because we can’t keep going on as we have done in the last few years,” he added.
“Hopefully there’s signs of better things to come.
“The one and only aim has to be to get some stability.
“We’ve got to get away from the situations we’ve been in.
“We’ve escaped with massive scares two seasons in a row and listen, if you keep getting involved in it, you’re going to get burned sooner or later.
“But I feel with the signings – and hopefully with one or two more coming in – that will really give us a strong squad and a squad that can be comfortable this season.”