Sunderland signing Vito Mannone is grateful for his experience with Arsenal.

The Italian experienced both Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions' League football while with the Gunners and says his long stay with the North London club will stand him in good stead.

"I had a great experience at Arsenal - it was a good learning curve for me," he explained to

"I was really young when I joined them and straight away I was with the first team in pre-season back in 2005.

"Then I went through all the steps - under-18s, reserves - before reaching the first team.

"It has been a great experience, even I was probably a bit restricted in terms of opportunities. I learned a lot."