Winger wowed by Wearside.
Adam Johnson has officially signed for Sunderland – and immediately highlighted the role Martin O’Neill played in his move.
The 25-year-old wing wizard penned a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light on Friday evening, joining from Manchester City for an undisclosed fee.
Having talked with O’Neill after the two clubs agreed a fee, Johnson admitted he was bowled over by the Wearside chief’s passion and vision.
And the conversations with the Northern Irishman were a key reason why the England international opted to return to his native north east.
“It feels fantastic [to be here],” he said. “I was born here and there have been rumours in the past about me coming here.
“It’s great to have signed and it’s a fresh start.
“Coming back to the north east and Martin O’Neill were the two main factors, especially the gaffer and listening to what he had to say to me.
“He made it clear just how much he wanted me to come here. To know that and feel wanted and appreciated made me feel that it was the right choice to sign.
“He knows exactly what he wants from his players and from me personally. Hopefully he’ll give me plenty of confidence as well.”
Johnson is Sunderland’s second signing in the space of a day following the arrival of striker Steven Fletcher from Wolves.
The pair join fellow new boys Carlos Cuellar and Louis Saha at the Stadium of Light and Johnson believes exciting times lie ahead.
“With the manager’s ambition and the players he’s brought in already, the club is progressing quickly and that’s another reason I wanted to sign,” he said.
“[It’s exciting times] without a doubt. Sunderland mean business and the signings made suggest that.
“I want to perform on the pitch for the fans and I’m just looking forward to getting out there now.”