Bryan Oviedo had cast his Sunderland future into doubt shortly after the Premier League season had ended with relegation - speaking in an interview in Costa Rica ahead of the Gold Cup, the full back stated that he would always looks for an option to remain in the Premier League. Either than option wasn’t forthcoming or Oviedo has realised that he needs to knuckle down and play football after repeated spells on the sidelines due to injury, but he now looks set to remain at the Stadium of Light.
Speaking to the Costa Rican media outlet Nacion, Oviedo explained that although he may look for other opportunities in the future, he is now fully committed to Sunderland;
At the moment I am here and I am training to play in the Championship. I think that will be very good for me, as I will play fairly regularly and I will play in a tournament that is very competitive.
We'll see if another opportunity comes later, but for now I'm doing the preseason and working to be here and start at 100%.
Oviedo also mentioned that the forthcoming World Cup played a part in his decision to remain at Sunderland, with the chance to play regularly ahead of the tournament in Russia being a big motivation;
For me it is very important to make a quiet decision and see what is best for me and my family. Staying in Sunderland, playing and being in a good physical shape is very important for what is coming.
This season that is about to start will be of many blessings, as we have the opportunity to qualify for a World Cup and at the end of the season I hope to have the motivation to move up to the Premier League.
With only Brendan Galloway as his only real competition for the left-back slot and the Everton loanee being a natural centre-back, Oviedo is likely to be a key player as we look to bounce back into the Premier League at the first attempt and the Costa Rican international is hopeful that he will get his fitness to 100% while helping the club back to the top flight;
The Championship is quite complicated, possibly a bit more so than the Premier League, but on a physical level, as it is a faster and stronger football. I think it will be quite difficult and although the Premier League is better in other aspects, I will also accumulate enough experience. I hope to do it in the best way and help the team to come up this coming season.
Many times it has happened to me that I have been at my best and unfortunately something happened to me or some injury prevented me from playing. I had to return and recover, and at that time I lost ownership and I had to wait for the opportunity again.
These are situations that occur in football. I have been injured very often, but it does not give more concern to the account. I think we have to take everything calmly and get ahead because we are exposed to this.
It has not been the same injury, but they were different. I have to work harder and keep growing day by day to, at some point, be at 100%.
The 27-year-old was unfortunately injured again whilst on Gold Cup duty with Costa Rica, although that is an injury he has almost recovered from and hopes to return to full training next week;
I am in the final part of the recovery and I hope to start jogging later this week. The objective is to for me to join in training next week with the team and then to play.
So although the Derby game is likely to come too soon, Oviedo should give Simon Grayson a boost by returning to first team contention sooner rather than later.