SUNDERLAND reaped the benefits from being first out of the blocks to approach Jordi Gomez, admits the midfielder.
Gomez attracted plenty of interest after being crowned Wigan’s Player of the Year at the end of last season, with Everton and QPR both linked to the out-of-contract Spaniard, along with several sides in La Liga.
Wigan had not given up hope of re-signing Gomez either and extending his five-year stay at the Championship outfit.
But Sunderland were the first top flight club to approach Gomez’s agent and the 29-year-old swiftly decided that joining Gus Poyet’s men was the right move to make.
Gomez told the Echo: “Sunderland was the first club to show an interest.
“It wasn’t about the team. It was more about the manager and the style of play.
“It wasn’t 100 per cent that I would leave Wigan, but it was a great chance to come here.
“Obviously when Wigan were relegated two years ago, you want to stay in the Premier League.
“Then the chance came this summer, so I took it.
“It’s a great club; a big club, and I want to do my best here.”
Poyet’s footballing philosophy clearly played a big part in Gomez’s decision to join Sunderland after his previous stint in the Premier League was under the similar style of Roberto Martinez.
“I think he’s a very good manager, he showed that last season because the team was in a very bad situation, but they stayed up,” said Gomez, who is expected to make his first Sunderland appearance in today’s pre-season opener against Darlington 1883.
“I like the way he wants to play with his teams and I think it’s going to suit my style.
“Hopefully, it will get the best out of me and then it’s up to the manager if he plays me or not.”
Gomez has been one of three arrivals at the Stadium of Light so far this summer, with Billy Jones and Costel Pantilimon also joining on Bosman deals.
But Sunderland are still on the lookout for another half-dozen or so fresh faces after losing 12 players at the end of last season.
Gomez certainly expects more arrivals, yet stresses that there is still quality among the members of the squad who have remained at the club this summer.
“I think we’ve got some good players,” he added.
“Obviously there will be some new signings as well. But I think at the moment, we can do well.”