Sunderland transfer news: Isaac Lihadji reacts to exciting move and tells fans what they can expect
Isaac Lihadji says his excitement at Sunderland's long-term project convinced him to make the switch from Lille.
The winger signed a two-and-a-half year deal on Friday, with the club holding the option of a further year.
He became the second signing of the January window following Pierre Ekwah - and Joe Gelhardt is expected to be the third when his loan switch from Leeds United is confirmed later today.
Speaking to safc.com, Lihadji said he was eager to get going at the Stadium of Light.
“I can see it’s a beautiful city with supporters who have a great love for football, so I’m happy to be here," Lihadji said.
"The project attracted me because the club inspire young players to improve their level and I am ready for the challenge. I’m excited to play for the club and I’m eager to get on the field.”
Head coach Tony Mowbray says Lihadji's arrival is a sign of the progression Sunderland have made as a club, though he has also warned that the winger's limited game time means it will take time for supporters to see the very best of his talent.
When ready, Lihadji's reference points as a winger give a clear indication of the style he will bring to the right flank.
"I am a right winger," Lihadji said. "Players like Riyad Mahrez and Ousmane Dembele inspire me."
A French youth international, Lihadji hopes Sunderland can be the vehicle to one day fulfilling his international dreams.
"It's a goal," he said. "You have to take it step-by-step and hopefully get there one day - it's something that is close to my heart.