Vito Mannone aims to be first choice

New Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone has fired a warning at rival Kieran Westwood that he has come to the club to fight for a place in the first team.

Westwood, a Republic of Ireland international, has endured a very difficult two year spell at the club, finding himself as the second choice and he thinks the time is now right to become the first choice keeper for the club, but manager Paolo Di Canio has swiftly moved on to buy Mannone from Arsenal and has already briefed him to make things difficult for Westwood and provide competition for him.

The Italian spent eight years at North London and was a bit part player for most of that time and he is unwilling to play that same role again after moving to Wearside. Speaking after his move, he stated that he is a fighter and he loves a fight. Vito Mannone added that if there isn’t a fight to be had, then it makes things difficult because he is not someone who is habituated with watching proceeding from outside and wants to be in the thick of things at all times.

He mentioned that as soon as the offer to join Sunderland presented itself, he was certain that it was his next club because it is a place with a rich history and he is glad to have been able to make the move. He also mentioned that he needs to get back into perfect shape before the start of the new season and is aiming to work that extra hour to achieve it.

Vito Mannone joined Arsenal as a 17 year old in 2005 and has made only 27 appearances for the Gunners and has also spent time on loan at Hull City as well as Barnsley to gain experience.