New Sunderland signing Carlos Cuellar says former Aston Villa team-mate Darren Bent talked up the Wearside club ahead of his move.
Bent is not a popular figure with Black Cats fans after departing the Stadium of Light for Villa in a £24million switch in January 2011.
But centre-back Cuellar, who joined Sunderland on a free transfer earlier this month, says the England striker had only good things to say about the club.
He told the Daily Star: "Darren was always talking up the club, the city, the supporters, the atmosphere, everything."
Cuellar has flown out to South Korea with his new team-mates as they prepare for the new season.
The 30-year-old says his decision to join Sunderland was a straightforward one after previously working under manager Martin O'Neill at Villa.
"It was an easy decision, having worked with the manager before," he added.
"I know the way Martin O'Neill likes to work and the way he wants to play."