DAVID Moberg Karlsson says his ambition is to put pressure under first-team places next season – even though he’s up against international wingers Emanuele Giaccherini and Adam Johnson.
The 19-year-old, a £1.5m signing from IFK Gothenburg, has made an impressive start to his Sunderland career – shining and scoring in the Asia Trophy in Hong Kong.
And he was also involved as a substitute in the victory over FC Midtjylland earlier this week.
But the ambitious youngster hopes that is just the start of his first-team involvement as the 2013-14 season beckons.
“I’m pleased with how it has gone so far because straightaway you want to play when you join a new club and I’ve been lucky enough to do that,” he said.
“It’s nice to have had a good start and to have scored a goal but, I know that this is just the beginning and it is a big challenge ahead.
“I’m not stupid, I know how good the likes of Emanuele and Adam are, they are very talented players – they are not full internationals for Italy and Sweden for nothing.
“But I’m working hard in training and I’m hoping to play my part and push them as much as possible.”
Whereas Moberg Karlsson has set himself the task of getting beyond his wing rivals, he is also the first to point out that he is benefiting from being in the same Sunderland squad as them.
He said: “They are better players than me and so of course I can learn from them.
“They deliver the ball better than me, make better passes, but I can learn from that and improve my own game with practice.”
The Scandinavian’s first job has been to adapt to the speed and pace of football expected in the Premier League.
And he admits that that has occupied much of his thinking since joining the club.
“It was not simple for me to pick up the tempo of the game when I first arrived at the club,” he confessed.
“I noticed pretty quickly that a lot of the players here were used to that and I wasn’t.
“But that is something I have been working very hard on in training and I can see an improvement there, which is encouraging.”