SEB LARSSON says Sunderland’s management team shared his vision for taking the club forwards, when he held talks over his future this summer.
Larsson was the only member of Sunderland’s eight out-of-contract players to remain at the Stadium of Light at the end of last season after the Swedish international penned a new three-year deal.
There was domestic and overseas interest in signing Larsson on a Bosman deal, with Stoke City at the front of the queue for the 29-year-old after seeing a January bid rejected by Sunderland.
But once Larsson had held discussions with head coach Gus Poyet and sporting director Lee Congerton, he swiftly made up his mind to extend his three-year stay at Sunderland.
Larsson said: “Of course, it was a big decision.
“I’ve been in England a long time and been at Sunderland for three years.
“The three years have been very up and down, so it was a big decision when your contract runs out and you figure out what to do next.
“But once we sat down and talked things through with the manager and the people around the club, it became quite clear very quickly that we wanted the same thing.
“And when you do want the same thing, these things sort themselves out and it did this time.”
Larsson, who arrived on a free transfer from Birmingham City in the summer of 2011, has seen Sunderland plagued by upheaval during his time at the club, with Poyet the fourth permanent manager he has worked under.
But he believes Sunderland are now on the right course to fulfil their potential under Poyet after last season’s remarkable escape from the drop.
“The same kind of things appealed as when I first signed for the club,” added Larsson, who played a key role in Sunderland’s survival.
“I like the place and the size of the club.
“I feel like there’s unfinished business here. This is not a club that should be fighting relegation.
“And I feel there are people in place at the club now to finally push it forward.
“Hopefully that will happen.
“Sometimes you go through spells in football, like in life, when things aren’t quite as easy or enjoyable.
“But since the manager came in, we’ve all had a new lease of life and we’re all looking forwards to this season now.
“Hopefully we can do a lot better than what we have in recent years.”