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Improved Altidore ready for Premier League return

2 August 2013 13:31

Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore believes he is now a better player than when he was last in the Premier League.

The American forward spent the 2009-10 season on loan at Hull City from Villarreal before eventually moving to AZ in Holland.

As Hull struggled in the English top flight, Altidore replicated those woes, netting only one Premier League goal in 28 appearances as the side were relegated.

His fortunes soon changed though as the 23-year-old made 63 appearances in all competitions for AZ, scoring 45 times, and Altidore feels he returns to England an improved player.

"I think I just became a better player in Holland, than the one when I was at Hull," he told The Sunderland Echo.

"On and off-the-ball and linking up with the players around me, I just got better. It’s that simple.

"I’ve become a much more confident player since then."

Altidore is one of nine players signed by Paolo Di Canio this close-season, as the Italian looks to improve on his side's 17th-place finish in the last campaign.

The American believes the firepower within the squad can ensure success at the Stadium of Light.

"(Stephane) Sessegnon is a top, top player. There’s no doubt about it and Connor (Wickham) is a very good player too," he added.

"I think we have a lot of good options there and hopefully (Steven) Fletcher will be fit soon too."

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
12 12 -3 14
13 12 -4 13
14 12 -7 13
15 12 -4 12
16 12 -3 11

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