The Black Cats spent four, long, years in the third tier of English football and finally made their way back to the second division as they beat Wycombe in the play-off final.
Kristjaan Speakman’s work in the transfer market played a part in their success as he brought in a number of talented and young players to bolster Lee Johnson’s squad in the summer of 2021.
Johnson hailed the club’s work to snap him up at the time, telling the club’s website: “To get a player of Dennis’ quality at 19 speaks wonders in terms of what we’re trying to do because he is a top talent and he’s very highly regarded within the game. We have been really happy with the signings we have made so far and we will bank this one, but we will continue our work quietly and efficiently to try and get a couple more over the line.”
The gem quickly established himself as a regular in the Sunderland team and ended up playing 37 times in League One for Johnson and Alex Neil combined.
30 of his appearances came as a left-back, his natural position, before he was converted into a centre-back as part of a back three, playing seven matches in his new role. By the end of June, Transfermarkt valued the 20-year-old at £1.08m.
This term, Cirkin has played eight games in the Championship and all of his appearances have come as the left centre-back in a back-three system. He has made 3.1 tackles and interceptions per game and won 56% of his individual duels, showing off his quality – defensively – at this level as Josh Bunting recently hailed him a “standout” in the team.
At the time of writing (20/09/22), Transfermarkt valued the former Spurs man at £1.8m. This means that his value has rocketed up by 67% in just three months, which illustrates how impressive he has been since arriving at the Stadium of Light in 2021.
Therefore, Sunderland landed a dream deal by signing Cirkin last summer as he has been integral to their success on the pitch and the youngster is growing in value, which makes him a great asset for the club to have now and in the future.