By Leander Schaerlaeckens, FOXSoccer.com
On July 5, Jozy Altidore sealed his transfer from AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands to Sunderland of the Barclays Premier League. The Black Cats will be the 23-year-old’s seventh club. His reported transfer fee of $13 million broke his own American record of the $10 million Villarreal paid the New York Red Bulls in 2008. On Friday, FOX Soccer caught up with Altidore to chat about his transfer and the reasoning behind the move:
FOX Soccer: During your last spell in the Premier League with Hull City in the 2009-10 season, you faced a steep learning curve. Do you think you’re better prepared this time around?
Jozy Altidore: “I don’t think it’s about being better prepared. Looking back on it, I think I was the number one striker on that team, not the greatest team in the world, I was always going to be up against it. It wasn’t easy. Now I’ve played in Europe more, I think I’m a little bit of a different type of player now than I was when I was 19 years old.”
FS: You matured rapidly with AZ. How did that help shape your career?
JA: “Just being there and training every single player day was good, you learned every single day. It was a really good two years for me, in every aspect. Just becoming a target man became a bit more natural for me.”