Wouter Verstraaten is a player on Sunderland’s radar, and he has spoken about his recent experience of the club and the possibility of him joining the Black Cats.
Sunderland took a look at the player earlier this year and allowed the Dutchman to take part in a match against Liverpool U23s, and the interest may not have stopped there.
Verstraaten came though at PSV Eindhoven but has struggled at the professional level and now finds himself at nearby South Shields.
He isn’t exactly young at 24 years of age, too, but he has been described as a “Rolls Royce” defender and if Phil Parkinson and Co like what they see, then signing him may be a worthwhile gamble.
The player has spoken about the chnaces of that happening and reflected on the trial period he had at the Stadium of Light.
Speaking to Dutch outlet Eindhovens Dagblad, he said:
“They had seen me play and showed interest. Special, yes. Half a year ago I played football at Geldrop and now I was allowed to test at Sunderland … I am realistic.”
The outlet also reports that Verstraaten is currently in negotiations with the club over a contract, which means he could join in the summer if accurate.
Phil Parkinson has built his relative success in the north-east on the strength of Sunderland’s defence, which he has proved drastically since coming in.
Sunderland’s record of eight goals conceded in 13 games underlines that point. The Black Cats have conceded the second-least amount of goals in League One and therefore Parkinson knows not only what makes a good defender, but how to get the best out of them too.
As a result, the arrival of Verstraaten, if he was to join, may rise a few eyebrows, but there is no need to doubt Parkinson or his decision-making, and signing the centre-back may prove to be inspired.
Given he is plying his trade in non-league he would also likely arrive at little cost, and if he learns from experienced players like Joel Lynch and Jordan Willis he is likely to improve.
In other news, Sunderland fans were full of praise for a player who has rarely been seen this season…