SUNDERLAND’S latest recruit Jack Rodwell believes a £10m move to the Stadium of Light can revive his England career after being forced to endure the heartache of missing out on a World Cup spot this summer.
Rodwell turned his back on spending further time on the sidelines with the Premier League champions Manchester City in favour of signing a five-year deal on Wearside.
The 23-year-old made up his mind to uproot to the North-East after speaking to Gustavo Poyet, the Sunderland boss, after he returned from the club’s pre-season tour of Portugal on Monday morning and was excited by what he heard.
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Now Rodwell, who is expected to make his first appearance in a red and white shirt against Real Betis at Bishop Auckland on Thursday night, has outlined his wish to pull on an England shirt again.
“Without a doubt the last couple of seasons, I’ve not played as much as I would have liked,” said Rodwell who only featured in ten games for City last season.
“Watching the World Cup left a bitter taste in my mouth and it’s time to put that right and get back in to the England squad.
“I am just going to give my all. All I can do is give my all. Hopefully score some goals and be a good box-to-box midfielder. I want to give 100 per cent.”
Rodwell was an England regular at every level from Under-16s through to the Under-21s and he had been expected to stay in and around Roy Hodgson’s squad for this summer’s World Cup.
But he has failed to add to his three senior caps for his country since playing in the Maracana against Brazil in a 2-2 draw 14 months ago. Injuries played there part too, although one of his former team-mates at Everton clearly thinks he can recapture his best and force his way back in to England reckoning.
Phil Neville, the Everton skipper when the younger player emerged at Goodison Park, Tweeted: “Good move for Jack Rodwell - time for him to play every week and show everyone his ability - if he stays injury free he will be back in England squad.”
Rodwell’s move bares uncanny similarities to that made by Adam Johnson a couple of years ago. That time around Johnson decided the switch was necessary after winning the title with City because he wanted to play regular first team football.
Now Rodwell, and Johnson who left shortly after the former’s arrival at City, will hope being reunited again at Sunderland can help them both fulfil their ambitions. The Southport-born former Everton midfielder said: “I just want regular football and to get back to enjoying it.
“I can’t wait to get going. It’s good to be back at the Stadium of Light (where he made his professional debut). Every time I have played here you can feel the passion in the North-East. It’s in the city and to be part of it is great.
“These are very good and exciting times. I completed the move this morning and I can’t wait. There was a lot of media interest, linking me with teams, but I met up with the manager and all the people involved at the club. They told me about the club, the vision for the club. It is a good club with passionate fans.”
The arrival of Rodwell boosts Sunderland’s midfield options and it immediately sparked claims from France that El-Hadji Ba is on his way to Bastia on a season-long loan.
The 21-year-old has actually been one of the brightest points of pre-season so far, but Bastia are claiming to have convinced Sunderland that he can aid his development by spending next year in France.
Sunderland are far from finished on the transfer front. They are ready to confirm the arrival of Argentine defender Santiago Vergini on a season-loan loan from Atletico Fenix. Poyet is also putting pressure on Fabio Borini to make a decision over a £14m return to the club and the Liverpool forward is understood to be warming to the idea.