Sunderland’s Larsson wants more quality after Rodwell debuts against Real Betis

Sunderland's Adam Johnson and Real Betis' Ruben Castro during the pre-season friendly at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland

Sunderland's Adam Johnson and Real Betis' Ruben Castro during the pre-season friendly at Heritage Park, Bishop Auckland

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SEB LARSSON says Sunderland’s players want to see more arrivals of Jack Rodwell’s calibre before the end of the transfer window.

Rodwell made his Sunderland bow in last night’s 2-0 victory over Real Betis after only training with his new team-mates for the first time 24 hours earlier, following his £10million move from Manchester City.

Larsson lined up alongside Rodwell in midfield for the opening 45 minutes before the England international was withdrawn and has no doubts over the impact the 23-year-old can make for Sunderland this season.

But despite this week’s double signing of Rodwell and defender Santiago Vergini taking Sunderland’s tally of fresh faces to six, Larsson is still hopeful that there will be further quality additions to the Black Cats squad.

Larsson said: “You want good players coming into the team.

“Jack’s obviously a very good player and I’m sure there won’t be any issues with him settling in among the lads and producing quality games.

“That’s what we need. We need quality players if we want to improve and do better than what we have been doing recently.

“Everyone knows that we want quality players and he’s one of them.

“Hopefully there’ll be a few more to come in, we’ll have to see.

“I don’t think as players, you worry too much about that.

“I’m sure there’s things going on behind the scenes, as at every club. But we probably know as much as anyone else!”

Late goals from Steven Fletcher and Connor Wickham secured victory for Sunderland in their penultimate friendly, with their pre-season programme concluding tomorrow against Serie A side Udinese.

And Larsson admits that he is now itching for the Premier League to get underway, with Sunderland beginning their campaign at West Brom in eight days time.

The 29-year-old added: “We’re looking forward to the league starting now. We’ve done the heavy graft, running and everything you need to do in pre-season.

“It feels good once you’ve got it in the bank.

“Obviously friendlies are good, but at the same time, you’re just waiting for it to kick off now and get those real games going.

“We’re looking forward to it. The mood in the camp is very good and we can’t wait to get started.

“We want a much better start to the season than we’ve had in recent years to see what we can do.”