El-Hadji Ba

Ba's Wearside pride

by Stuart Vose

Young midfielder delighted to make SoL switch.

El-Hadji Ba has revealed his pride in becoming a Sunderland player as he looks to make an impact on the Barclays Premier League.

The young midfielder, 20, completed a move from French club Le Havre last week and linked up with Paolo Di Canio’s new-look squad in Italy.

“I am very happy to have joined Sunderland, which is such a big club,” said the French U20 international.

“It is a very proud moment to be able to call myself a Sunderland player.

“The Barclays Premier League, for me, is a very big league – the best in the world.

“There are very good players here so I am very happy.”

Ba, who has signed a three-year deal on Wearside, made his debut as a substitute in a behind-closed-doors practice game against a local select XI in Italy last week.

He followed up with a 20-minute run-out in the second half against Swiss side FC Chiasso on Wednesday as the Black Cats emerged 1-0 winners thanks to Connor Wickham’s goal.

And Ba views the training camp as a valuable experience as he gets to know his new colleagues.

“It is good to be able to get used to my new team-mates straight away, to get to know them and improve my English,” he explained.

“The training camp has been good and we are looking forward to the season. More and more it is good for the team and I am very proud to be here.

“This is a very big club – I am sure I will enjoy it.”

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