Simon Mignolet is ready to fight for the Sunderland No.1 spot next season despite the likes of Craig Gordon and Keiren Westwood providing tough competition.
Injuries saw Gordon miss much of last season, while Westwood is one of nine new recruits at the Stadium of Light after leaving Coventry City.
The Belgian stopper went on to make eight clean sheets in his 22 Premier League appearances last season, enough of a reason for manager Steve Bruce to pick the 22-year-old from the start of next season.
“I’ve proved already in the Premier League that I can play well," he said.
“Obviously it’s up to me to perform in every single game I play now. But the competition is there to keep me sharp in every training session.
“It’s normal to have competition. If you look at all the transfers that have come in this summer, there’s going be competition throughout the team which is good for the club. Hopefully everyone will move forward from that.
“I don’t have any problems with that, it’ll only make me a better player. The only thing I can do is show what I can do during the games. I think everyone at the club knows what I bring and it’s up to the manager to eventually make a decision.”
Mignolet played 45 minutes of the Black Cats' first friendly of the summer against York City, where goals from Phil Bardsley and Oumare Tounkara secured the win over the non-league outfit.
The club now head to Germany for a week-long pre-season tour and Mignolet is delighted to get pre-season under-way. “The first game is always important to get your fitness back and get a feel of the ball,” he added.
“It’s not always easy when you’re playing against an opponent like York, who are always ready to compete. York had already played two games so they were more ready than we were. And it was a big game for them and their fans so we were happy with the run-out.”