MODIBO DIAKITE is keen to repay the faith of new employers Fiorentina after finding himself confined to a bit-part role at Sunderland.
The 26-year-old was brought to the Stadium of Light during the summer with the intention of being the first-choice central defensive partner of skipper John O’Shea.
But Diakite made just three Premier League appearances during Gus Poyet’s tenure – all of which came when Wes Brown and O’Shea were ruled out through suspension and injury respectively.
Fiorentina, currently lying in fourth spot in Serie A, beat off competition from a number of Italian clubs to take Diakite on loan until the end of the season.
And after making his debut in Wednesday night’s Coppa Italia semi-final first leg defeat to Udinese, Diakite is pleased to have returned to Italy after ending his seven-year stint at Lazio last summer.
“Fiorentina have given me so much, now I have to pay back the confidence they have shown in me,” Diakite told reporters in Italy.
“Under (Paolo) Di Canio I was playing at Sunderland, but then I only had a small role under Poyet, who played Brown and O’Shea.
“When the call came from Fiorentina, I immediately wanted to come here.
“The Viola are a great club. We think we can get to the final of the Coppa Italia. We also have the chance to get third place in the league.”
Sunderland are keen to offload Diakite on a permanent deal during the summer, although there was no clause inserted into the French defender’s loan move.
Fiorentina also claim that they did not have to pay a loan fee for Diakite’s services.
But with Sunderland keen to land on-loan Fiorentina left-back Marcos Alonso permanently at the end of the season, there is clear potential for a deal to be done with the duo.
Fiorentina’s technical director Eduardo Macia said: “He complements our defence and will be a boost for our coach and he arrives on loan free of charge until June without an option.
“He fits our needs, has trained in Italy and has had experience in English football.
“It’s not been a easy transfer because he has had many offers in January.
“But our relationship with Sunderland is good after the transfer of Marcos Alonso.”