Jozy Altidore heading to Sunderland

USA TODAY Sports

The USMNT striker is going to get his second crack at Premier League football after AZ Alkmaar agreed to sell him to Sunderland.

According to Jozy Altidore's website, AZ Alkmaar has agreed to a fee with Sunderland for his transfer. The two clubs have reportedly been in negotiations for some time, with Sunderland making a new bid late this week after their first bid was rejected.

Altidore is in spectacular form, having scored four goals in his last four United States national team games. He also scored the winner in the KNVB Cup, and he's scored 51 times in 93 matches in all competitions for AZ. Also, despite seemingly being around forever, he's just 23 years old and probably has some room to improve.

Sunderland were apparently not put off by Altidore's first spell in the Premier League, which was wholly unsuccessful. While on loan to Hull City in the 2009-10 season, Altidore scored just one goal in 28 appearances. Obviously, he's a much more skilled and intelligent player than he was then, and his off-the-ball movement and work rate have improved considerably.

Altidore will have considerable competition for a first team place at Sunderland. Steven Fletcher is a similar player and has been a very consistent performer in his time at Sunderland, Wolves, Burnley and Hibernian. There's also some decent depth behind him in Danny Graham and young forward Connor Wickham, though both were very disappointing last season.

Manager Paolo Di Canio has mostly utilized one-striker formations, but that could change with the addition of Altidore. However, there is a possibility that Altidore could start the season as a backup to Fletcher and stay there for the better part of the season. He'll have an opportunity to earn playing time, but it's certainly no guarantee.

Update: The page has been removed, but 101 Great Goals has a screenshot and part of the text from the release.

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