This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Player View’ series, this content strand is where we put ourselves in the shoes of a given player, and offer an opinion-based outlook on the situation at hand…
Belgian left-back Laurens De Bock has had his loan at Sunderland terminated with him returning to Leeds United to find a move elsewhere.
Having moved to England in 2018, Laurens De Bock joined Leeds United under then-manager Thomas Christiansen as part of a mass January influx but struggled to make any positive impact at Elland Road.
In an attempt to find more playing time in the summer, De Bock seeked a new club on loan and landed at the Stadium of Light with Sunderland under their then-manager Jack Ross. However, De Bock has been left frustrated on Wearside with just five league appearances to his name as Ross was sacked to be replaced by Phil Parkinson.
The new managerial appointment has done nothing to improve De Bock’s first-team prospects in League One, with Denver Hume still getting the nod over him at the moment. The January transfer window has now left De Bock in limbo after being cast out by Sunderland and sent back to Leeds.
He now sits at a club that doesn’t want him having just been at a club that didn’t seem keen either, meaning he has a task on his hands this month to find somewhere that he can play regularly and that want him.
Speaking to the Sunderland Echo, Phil Parkinson confirmed that the reason for De Bock’s departure in pursuit of a move back to his homeland of Belgium. He stated: “Laurens has gone back, he wanted to go back to Belgium.
“Leeds had the option to call him back. It was more a personal thing, he wanted to go back home.”
The key for De Bock is to get a move back to Belgium where he played his best football, earning caps at a range of youth levels for the Belgium national team.
He never settled in England and a move away to his native Belgium is his aim now to rekindle his form and get back to playing first-team football regularly. De Bock will certainly be eager to get out of Elland Road as quickly as he can, to get his career back on track, but for now, he must focus on keeping himself fit while he is certain to not play football for a few weeks under Marcelo Bielsa.
How much can you remember from Laurens De Bock’s first season in England?
His stint at the Stadium of Light was forgettable at best having made five appearances and never really setting the world alight in League One. The problems run deeper than him at Sunderland and he arrived there at a poor time, leaving him with an uphill battle from the outset.
A return to Belgium is certainly on the cards and De Bock has the ability to play in their top division, having done so well for Club Brugge before making the move to Leeds. The problem he faced was that he was deemed surplus to requirements at Brugge as they converted formations from four at the back to three, meaning a more attacking wing-back was required.
He will know more than anyone that he hasn’t taken to English football well enough and it never worked out, so a move back to his country should be what he needs to get back to playing well at left-back. At 27-years-old, De Bock will feel like he can hit his peak given the faith from a new manager and club, he just needs to get that move.