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Altidore keen on Premier League return

American striker Jozy Altidore says it would be a “pleasure” to return to the Premier League, amid reported interest from Sunderland.

The 23-year-old bagged 31 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions for Eredivisie outfit AZ last season, form that has seen him linked with several European clubs.

But Altidore – who spent an unsuccessful season on loan at Hull City in the 2009-10 Premier League season, in which he scored just two goals in 30 appearances – has stated a preference to return to England.

“It is a fantastic league, anyone will tell you that,” Altidore said.

“If you look at everything, the Premier League is probably the biggest league in the world. Everybody knows that and it would be a pleasure to play in a league like that again.”

The United States international believes he has improved dramatically since his poor season at Hull, and feels that his increased experience would help him if he returned to the Premier League.

“I think I was 19 or just turned 20 and I had not played in Europe before that. It is a totally different style from the MLS,” Altidore told American radio station NASN.

“I have come a long way since then. I am almost a different player and I have learned a lot. So I don’t think there is any resemblance to that time if I went back to the league any time soon.

“I have played 100 plus games (since leaving Hull). Playing there at that age and playing in the best league in the world, you can’t expect to hit the ground running.

“Some of my performances at Hull were not as bad as people think, some of them were actually pretty good.

“I don’t look back at it as a sad experience. It was a great experience because I got to see what the highest level was like.”

Sat 29 June, 2013
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