clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Chelsea v Dynamo Kyiv - UEFA Europa League Round of 16: First Leg

Filed under:

Rusyn Speaks: New Ukrainian striker gives first interview after signing for Sunderland

Sunderland’s newest striker Naziriy Rusyn has given his first interview since signing for the club - and talked about what SAFC have planned for him in the future.

Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

New Sunderland signing Nazariy Rusyn is still in Paris while he waits for the paperwork to go through so he can travel to the North East and join the rest of his new team-mates in training.

While waiting in the French capital, the forward gave an interview to ProFootballDigital where he discussed his move to Sunderland.

Rusyn explained when he first heard of Sunderland’s interest and how the club gave a presentation of where they see him fitting into the team:

I arrived at Zorya’s training camp in Poland around the 3rd or 4th of the month, and then on the 6th or 7th of the month I got a phone call from Vadym Shabliy [Rusyn’s agent] who said that Sunderland were interested.

He said that they wanted to show me the club, the base, to show me how everything looks and how everyone sees it. We got in touch, they presented everything, assured me that they wanted me in the team.

We had one conversation in Poland, they made me an introduction and showed me what the club and the base looked like, their plan, how they would all be, what kind of football they wanted to play. They said that they had been watching me, that I fit their parameters, so they would continue to negotiate.

The 24-year-old said he can play anywhere across the front versatility and pointed out Karim Benzema and Roberto Firmino as the kind of modern number 9 he would emulate:

In Sunderland, they see that I can play on the left, on the right and as a striker. There, the striker plays further back, not as a pillar, across the front, as Benzema and Firmino did. It’s a plus for me that I can play here and there.

Rusyn hopes to be fluent in English by the winter, although he can speak some already but the club are providing an interpreter and will have young Sunderland striker Timur Tuterov to help him acclimatise.

It’s interesting to play in a team that aims to return to the Premier League. To feel the atmosphere, how they cheer there.

I wanted Zorya to get good money for me, which will help the team. This way I can thank the club where I restarted my career and kicked on.

I won’t lie about my English. Yes, I can more or less serve myself in everyday life and communicate freely with the foreigners [of Zorya]. But I will improve this knowledge.

At first, Sunderland will help me with an interpreter. The club employs a guy from Ukraine [Tuterov] who will help me adapt and integrate into the new team from the first days.

I plan to study with a teacher every day, practice in everyday life and be fluent by winter.

As well as looking forward to playing with a team who hope to be promoted to the Premier League, Rusyn revealed that as a Liverpool fan he is hoping to play at Anfield at some point.

Which stadium in England would I like to play at? Probably Anfield. I am a Liverpool fan. I like the aura of Anfield, the stadium itself, the team. I would like to play there.

Finally, the Ukrainian said he could have potentially stayed with Zorya if they had kept their old manager and then strengthened, as he believes they would have had the quality to fight for the title, but he sees the move to Sunderland as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

If Patrick van Leeuwen had stayed at Zorya, if the team had remained, then perhaps I would have stayed at Zorya for another year to become champions and play in European cups. But going to England is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity; it would be stupid not to try.

But we had a very good team. If we had understood all of Patrick’s demands a little earlier, we could have become champions, I’m sure of it. Add 2-3 people to that team - we could definitely fight for the title.

You can watch his full interview below, English subtitles are available.


The SAFC 365 Advent Calendar (Dec 7th): Seventh heaven at the Stadium of Light!


Fan Letters: “It may be harsh, but there’s logic behind Tony Mowbray’s Sunderland departure”


The Sunderland of 2023 is ruthless - much like modern football

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report