Defender Billy Jones has said Sunderland head coach Gus Poyet made him feel "wanted" and helped convince him to sign a four-year deal.
Jones, 27, was out of contract at West Bromwich Albion this summer and despite a contract offer from the Baggies, opted for the Stadium of Light.
"As a player there's nothing more you want than to feel wanted," Jones told BBC Newcastle.
"I most definitely felt that from Sunderland and the gaffer."
He added: "I'd heard what Gus wanted of me and how he wanted Sunderland to play and, even though I was settled at West Brom, it was a no-brainer once I'd spoken to Sunderland and seen the facilities."
Having come through the Crewe Academy and spent time in the North West at Preston before a switch to the West Midlands, Jones is a newcomer to the North East but has already begun to settle.
"I really am, it couldn't have been any better," Jones added.
"I managed to find a place before we even started pre-season and my wife has moved up with me, so everything is spot on."