Vergini: Worth the wait to sign for Sunderland

Santiago Vergini.
Santiago Vergini.

SANTIAGO Vergini insists the wait to rejoin Sunderland was worth it after a protracted move to the Stadium of Light this summer.

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet made no secret of his desire to re-sign Vergini at the end of last season after the Argentine international’s loan spell during the second half of the campaign.

But the Black Cats baulked at the £5million asking price from Vergini’s parent club, Costa Rican outfit Club Sport Uruguay de Coronado, and it took until early August for the two parties to agree to a second loan spell.

And while Vergini admits those protracted negotiations made it tough for him during the summer, the defender is glad to be back at the Stadium of Light.

Vergini told the Echo: “Yes, my initial thought was to have come back over before then, but it didn’t work out like that.

“So, yes, there was a fair deal of suspense from it all and, yes, the wait really was quite a long one.

“But, in the end, the outcome has been a positive one and the one we all wanted.”

April’s 2-2 draw at Manchester City was the turning point for Vergini in his Sunderland career after the 26-year-old had initially shown understandable teething problems adapting to the Premier League.

But Vergini, originally signed as a centre-half, looked far more assured after filling in at right-back against the eventual Premier League champions and has remained in that position ever since.

Despite missing the bulk of Sunderland’s pre-season campaign, Vergini has seamlessly returned to the Black Cats’ defence alongside centre-half pairing John O’Shea and Wes Brown.

“My natural position would be centre-back, but, of course, last year the team needed a right-back and I’m able to slot in there,” said Vergini, through a translator.

“It’s a position that I also feel comfortable in.

“I’m here at the club to be able to contribute and do whatever the club needs and really give my best.

“Knowing your team-mates does make things an awful lot easier. They know what I’m capable of and I also know what they’re capable of.

“When everyone in the whole team is working better then the individual performances are also better.”

The missing ingredient for Vergini in the early stages of this season is to be part of a victorious side in the Premier League, with Poyet’s men taking two points from their opening three top-flight games.

Sunderland face a tough challenge to break their duck when Spurs visit the Stadium of Light on Saturday, although Vergini acknowledges the Black Cats are in a much better place than when they lost 5-1 at White Hart Lane in April and were staring down the precipice to the Championship.

He added: “The context now is really very different to back then. Then the situation was very difficult and we did need to win that particular game.

“Now we go with renewed hope and the context is very different.

“We hope to do a lot better. Of course, we’re playing at home and we’ll have the support of our own fans, which is very important.

“I have to say that I quite like the way that we’ve been working as a team in these first few games, but it’s absolutely vital to get points on the board.”

We have launched a FREE football app covering Sunderland AFC, Newcastle United and Hartlepool United.

For all the latest news, gossip and match coverage straight to your mobile and tablet, download the Football Echo now from here:

Click here to download from the iTunes store

Click here to download from the Google Play store