Danny Graham completes move to Sunderland - despite being booed by fans before he even signed

Striker agrees three-and-a-half year deal
  • @simonrice

Danny Graham has completed his move to Sunderland for a fee of £5m.

The club announced that the player, who joins from Swansea, has agreed a three-and-a-half year deal at the Stadium of Light.

"As soon as I heard about the interest from Sunderland I didn't even have to consider any of the other options that were on the table,” he told Sunderland's official website.

“I was born and brought up in the north east so I know first-hand the intense passion that people have for their football in this part of the world – it's special and there's nowhere else like it.”

The Gateshead-born forward is a Newcastle fan and was jeered by Sunderland supporters when he came on as a 75th-minute substitute during Swansea's goalless Premier League draw at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night over derogatory comments he made about Sunderland in an interview when he was a Watford player.

Of the difficult relationship with the fans, Graham told Sunderland's official website: “Of course, I totally understand that some fans might need convincing about my commitment to Sunderland because of my roots, but I've always given 100 per cent no matter what team I play for and no matter who I play against.

“It's up to me to show people I deserve to wear the Sunderland shirt and I'm excited about playing for a club as big as this.

“I'm really excited about the future – this is a new phase of my career and I can't wait to get started.”

Martin O'Neill believes the switch will not be a problem for a player who has scored 15 Premier League goals in the last two seasons since Swansea were promoted from the Championship.

Swansea paid £3.5m to Watford for the striker in June 2011 and he has repaid that with 21 goals in all competitions since he moved to Wales.

A change in management and the arrival of strikers Michu and Itay Shechter have limited his first-team opportunities this season.

Graham had become increasingly frustrated at his lack of regular starting opportunities and he asked to leave the club on Tuesday night. He has been a regular in the Capital One side under Michael Laudrup and the desire to leave will mean he misses out on a Wembley appearance when Swansea play Bradford in the final on 24 February.

Graham's desire to play regularly and his family's desire to move back home to the North-east of England was stronger than the wish to play in a cup final. O'Neill believes the striker will give his side the cutting edge they have lacked for periods this season.