United States forward Jozy Altidore has finally worked out where he will be playing in the upcoming season. The 23-year-old striker will be transferred from Dutch club AZ Alkmaar to Barclays Premier League side Sunderland. Terms of the transfer have not been released.
Earlier this week AZ Alkmaar reportedly rebuffed Sunderland’s offer for the budding star, but apparently the Wearsiders were able to work out a deal, pending Altidore passing a physical, which is scheduled for Monday. Altidore made 28 Premier League appearances during the 2009-10 season for Hull when he was on load from Villarreal, but had mixed results.
Last season Altidore had his coming out party for AZ Alkmaar, scoring 23 goals in 33 league games, while adding eight more in six KNVB Cup matches. In his two seasons in the Dutch Eredivisie, he racked up 38 goals in 67 league appearances, and 51 goals in 93 matches with the club overall. He also helped AZ win the Dutch Cup for the first time in 31 years.
Altidore had been looking for a step up in competition and he’ll get that at Sunderland. It is a club desperately in need of strikers so the young American should immediately step in with a chance to start right away. The fact that he will be facing the world’s best players every time out should only serve to make him a much better player.
Altidore has become a big part of what United States men’s national team manager Jurgen Klinsmann is building as well. After nearly two years without an international goal, Altidore has now found the net in four consecutive matches for the U.S., including goals in three straight World Cup qualifying matches.
It seems he has finally gotten over his slump on the international stage, and he now has 17 tallies to his name for the U.S. in 60 international appearances.
All-in-all this seems like a great move for Altidore and Sunderland.