WILL BUCKLEY is glad to be reunited with Gus Poyet - seven months after Sunderland’s initial approach fell through.
Buckley finalised his £2.5million switch to the Stadium of Light yesterday after the winger penned a three-year deal with the Black Cats.
Sunderland boss Poyet had wanted to sign Buckley in the January transfer window, but Brighton rejected the Black Cats’ advances and the 24-year-old was forced to complete the season at the Amex Stadium.
But after Sunderland reignited their interest last week, Brighton were more receptive and Buckley has renewed acquaintances with ex-Seagulls boss Poyet, who he spent two years working under on the south coast.
“It nearly got done in January and I was looking forward to playing in the Premier League,” he said.
“But to be reunited with the manager is great. Hopefully I can come here and impress.
“I spoke to him and I know quite a few of the staff already.
“They know what I can do and hopefully I can deliver that in the season to come.
“The improvement that I made coming from Watford (to Brighton) I do believe he made me a better player.
“Hopefully I can repay him now on the big stage in the Premier League.
“I had a quick chat with him and most of the things are similar to what he did at Brighton.
“There might be a few changes that I need to get used to, but I’m ready for that.”
Buckley is confident he can make the grade in the Premier League after progressing up the football pyramid.
The Oldham-born wideman began his career at Rochdale before playing for Watford and Brighton in the Championship, and now he has the opportunity to prove his credentials in the top flight.
“This is the pinnacle of where I wanted to play football from where I started,” he added on the club website.
“I played in League Two and jumped to the Championship where it took a couple of months to get used to.
“But I made that step and the manager thinks I can make the next step to the Premier League.
“That’s where I want to be, so it’s time to prove that now.”