Defender Jason Denayer admits he is relishing the opportunity to get first-team football with Sunderland in the English Premier League.
Denayer, 21, is a full Belgium international but has yet to secure a place in a star-studded Manchester City squad since his arrival as a highly-rated teenager from the Jean-Marc Guillou academy in 2013.
His first two loan spells away from the club were fruitful, as he picked up a league and cup double with Celtic in the 2014/15 season, while also claiming the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year award, Celtic’s Young Player of the Year. His exploits also earned him a place in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year.
Last season he played 28 times while on loan with Süper Lig giants Galatasary, winning another piece of silverware in the form of the Türkiye Kupasi [League Cup].
However, he’s excited to finally play in the English top flight for the first time after securing a deadline day move to the Black Cats and joining his compatriot Adnan Januzaj in David Moyes’ new-look side.
“I am happy to start playing games, because I didn’t play a lot of games in pre-season or at the start of pre-season,” he told reporters after featuring in a Sunderland U23 game. “It is good to be back on the pitch and it is very important for me.
“Physically, I am really well. I am 100 per cent, I am good. Tactically I need to adapt to what the club wants, that is where I can improve right now.
“Deadline day was a little bit stressful, because in the last hour you are waiting and don’t know if it will happen. When it happened, I was really relaxed and pleased.
“I know Adnan very well, since we were eight or nine I have known him,” the seven time capped Belgian international added. “It is good for me because he can help me a lot.”