Sunderland new boys have to learn the lingo

Ignacio Scocco and  Santiago Vergini warming up at St James's Park.
Ignacio Scocco and Santiago Vergini warming up at St James's Park.
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SUNDERLAND’S Argentine contingent will begin English lessons today as they acclimatise to life in the Premier League.

The Black Cats’ Uruguayan boss Gus Poyet brought three fellow South Americans to the Stadium of Light during the January transfer window after landing Argentina international trio Nacho Scocco, Oscar Ustari (left) and Santiago Vergini.

Forward Scocco is short on match fitness, but the £4million man has an advantage over his two compatriots after learning English during his year-long stint with Middle Eastern outfit Al-Ain - the club who signed ex-Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan in 2011.

But neither goalkeeper Ustari nor centre-half Vergini can speak English and Poyet has immediately sent them to the classroom to help them settle in on Wearside.

“I’m sure it will help that there’s three of them here,” Poyet told the Echo.

“Scocco speaks good English because he’s been in the Emirates. He didn’t learn Arabic there, he learnt English so he’s alright.

“But the other two start English lessons today.”

Despite their lack of English, Poyet has no fears that Ustari and Vergini will prove to be a success in the Premier League.

Both have only joined Sunderland provisionally until the end of the season – Ustari on a short-term contract after having his deal ripped up at Spanish side Almeria and Vergini on loan from Argentine side Estudiantes.

But Poyet believes the pair, who made their Sunderland debuts in last month’s FA Cup fourth round victory over Kidderminster, can thrive in English football.

He added: “The goalkeeper is very good. He’ll have no problems here.

“The same goes for Santiago. He’s a good character and he’ll be fine in the Premier League.

“Now, there’s going to be a game on a Monday night when it’s raining and it’s typical English football and for the first 10 minutes they are surprised. But that’s normal.

“I’ve got no problems with them.”