Alvarez ready to start for Sunderland against Tottenham Hotspur

Ricky Alvarez
Ricky Alvarez

NEW signing Ricky Alvarez insists he is prepared to be thrown straight into the unforgiving surroundings of the Premier League in this weekend’s visit of Spurs.

On-loan Inter Milan attacking midfielder Alvarez began training with his Sunderland team-mates today after he was away with the Argentine national squad when his move to the Stadium of Light was completed on deadline day.

Alvarez’s outing as a late substitute in Argentina’s 4-2 win over World Champions Germany was his first appearance of the season, with former club Inter only beginning their Serie A campaign 24 hours before the 26-year-old’s loan switch to Sunderland was rubber-stamped.

But Alvarez claims he is ready to play a part against Tottenham on Saturday, as the Black Cats look to register their first Premier League win of the season.

Alvarez said: “I’m going to be training this week with the side and getting to know them.

“And if the manager decides, then yes, I’m ready.

“I’m very keen to get underway. It’s a new challenge for me. I’m very happy and very hopeful.”

He added: “The Premier League really is the best league in the world, so the idea of coming over here was one I really liked.

“Now I’ve got the opportunity to do it, I look forward to working hard and doing things in the right way.

“I’m an attacking player who tries to create opportunities and create problems for the opposition.

“I’m also a player who tries to help defensively when the team hasn’t got the ball.

“Nowadays it’s important that players are able to do both of these things.”

There was one familiar face for Alvarez on the training ground today after he renewed acquaintances with fellow Argentine Santiago Vergini, who he played alongside in their formative years at Velez Sarsfield.

“I’ve known Santi for a long time and he’s a great guy. I’m sure he’ll help me to get to know the club and my new team-mates,” said Alvarez on the club website.

“He’s very comfortable here and very happy.

“In the coming days, I’m sure he’ll tell me all about the club and the people here.”