Sunderland’s on-loan defender Laurens De Bock has revealed that it felt good to be back, after making his first appearance for his temporary club in an Under 23s game.
De Bock – who has made just seven appearances for Leeds since joining from Club Brugge in January 2018 – played the full 90 minutes of a 3-2 defeat to Middlesbrough on Monday night.
Speaking after the game about how it felt to be back on the pitch after not featuring for Leeds during pre-season, De Bock told Sunderland’s official website: “It was nice to play again because my last game was a while ago, I am happy to play the full 90 minutes and get back to the rhythm of the game,” he said.
“It was good to play with the under-23s. It’s circumstances I’m not used to, but I hope my experience could help them a little bit.”
Assessing when he may be ready to make his first-team bow for Jack Ross’ side, the 26-year-old continued: “I’m probably going to need a couple more games to get up to speed, I will have to prove myself in training and show the manager I am ready to play in the first team.”
As well as De Bock, fellow defender Jay Lynch also made his first appearance for the club after joining last month following his departure from QPR earlier in the summer, with the 31-year-old playing just over an hour of the match.
Discussing the performances of the pair, Sunderland’s Under 23s manager Elliot Dickman said: “They’re quite new to the club and they’re a little bit behind with minutes so it’s important they got some tonight.
“They went about it very professionally as you would expect first-team players to do.
“The experience the two brought to the team was fantastic, when senior lads play down the younger players can learn from them and both the lads did well tonight.”
Sunderland’s senior side are currently fifth in League One after seven games of their league campaign, and are next in action when they host Rotherham United on Tuesday night.
This looks to be an encouraging sign for Sunderland fans.
It seems as though neither De Bock nor Lynch are too far away from a return to senior action, which should offer a useful boost to Jack Ross’ side.
Both players should offer decent options in defence at this level, meaning they will be well covered in that area should any injuries or suspensions arise.
You feel that for De Bock, in particular, a return to action following his time on the sidelines will be a considerable relief, as he looks to kickstart his career in England this season.