Sunderland forward Ola Toivonen admits one of the biggest regrets of his career was not forcing a move to Liverpool in 2010. Sweden international Toivonen arrived at the Stadium of Light on a season-long loan deal in late August, linking up with his former PSV Eindhoven coach Dick Advocaat.
After spells in his native Sweden, Holland and France with Rennes, the 29-year-old is delighted to have the chance to test himself in the Premier League after missing out the first time around five years ago.
"I have had the opportunities to come to the Premier League before. A couple of years ago it looked like I would be joining Liverpool and not fighting hard enough for that to happen is something I regret in my life," Toivonen told the Chronicle.
"Now, when I look back, I am 29 so I am pleased that I took the opportunity to move to France to try out a new league. I experienced how it is to live there, experienced a new language and culture, so it was a nice time. But I always wanted to play in the Premier League, so when I got the call it was a quick decision to make."
Despite not being at full fitness, Toivonen made an instant impact for the Black Cats when brought on for the second half of last weekend's meeting with Aston Villa, providing the assist for Jeremain Lens's equaliser at Villa Park. It remains to be seen where Advocaat will choose to deploy Toivonen on a consistent basis, but having previously played in a role behind the striker, that is where the Swede hopes to continue.
"In PSV I played as number 10 behind the striker," he explained. "I was the striker as a number nine in France, but I do prefer to link up with the play and attack the box as a number 10."