Sunderland boss Craig Gordon admits interest from Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger while he was with Hearts set him on his way last season.

Gordon said: "Arsene Wenger's words gave me a massive boost. He saw the Scotland-France game and had some kind things to say about me.

"For somebody like him to say that about you gives you a lift. He has done pretty much everything in the game.

"You take it as a pat on the back but you also have to keep your feet on the ground. You try to continue doing what attracted those comments in the first place.

"At a club like Arsenal I would have had to consider whether or not I would have got regular first-team football.

"With my international career it is important to be playing regularly. Arsenal is a huge club. I don't know what my thinking would have been at that stage of my career.

"But I've come to Sunderland, who paid an awful lot of money for me, and all I want is to play as well as I can for them."