It seems like a different age, but it was only six years ago when Jeremain Lens arrived in the North-East by private jet in order to sign a 4 year deal with the club.
The Dutch international signed from Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev for a fee believed to be in the region of £9million to team up once again with manager Dick Advocaat who the winger had played under at AZ and PSV which clearly played a part in the transfer getting over the line.
I’m very happy to be a Sunderland player. I think it is a good club and it is a great step for me to play in the Barclays Premier League. I followed the team last season following the arrival of Dick Advocaat and we have a good team, so as I said I’m really happy to be here.
The 27-year-old had 34 international caps for the Dutch national side at the time of his signature and was part of their World Cup squad the previous summer in Brazil and on the back of an undefeated season winning the Ukrainian Premier League, Lens was confident he would win the Sunderland fans over.
I’ve played for the Dutch national team and played a lot of games in Europe, but the Barclays Premier League is the main test so it will be really good to play some games here.
I can play on the left wing, on the right wing and also as a forward, my qualities are that I’m fast, I can score goals and I can create chances so I’m hope that the supporters will see a lot of my qualities this season.
I watched the derby against Newcastle United and the supporters were really amazing, so I’ve got a good impression of the fans and I hope they support us in the same way during the new season.
Sporting Director Lee Congerton and Dick Advocaat had been tracking Lens from the end of the previous season and Advocaat, having worked with the player previously was glad to get the deal over the line.
We have signed an international player and I am delighted to welcome him to Sunderland.
He is a very well-known player in Europe and has played over 30 games for the Dutch national side, which shows his calibre.
I have worked with him twice already, at PSV and AZ, so I know him well; he is fast and he has scored goals everywhere he has played so that will help the team.
Lens was Sunderland’s third signing of the summer following Adam Matthews from Celtic who joined in a deal worth £1 million and Sebastian Coates who made his stay on Wearside permanent from Liverpool when Sunderland paid £2 million following a season long loan.