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Sunderland: Dennis Cirkin has returned to training this week

A promising injury update has emerged regarding Sunderland full-back Dennis Cirkin ahead of a return to Championship action this week.

What’s the talk?

Black Cats manager Tony Mowbray has revealed that the centre-back has returned to training during the international break, after missing the last two matches with a hamstring issue.

The 59-year-old told the club’s official website: “Ellis [Simms] is progressing and will hopefully be a bit closer – we’ll have to wait and see.

“Dennis Cirkin is back out on the grass which is great for us, and he knows the competition too with Aji Alese’s performances. We have options going forward with our wide attackers and our number 10s, so we’ll be sure to adapt.”

Mowbray should be delighted

The Sunderland head coach should be delighted with Cirkin’s return, as it is a big boost to the squad ahead of their clash against Preston at the weekend.

Prior to his injury, the defender was a crucial player in the team as he started all eight of their matches in the Championship on the left side of a back three, with both Alex Neil and Mowbray selecting him in the starting XI.

Is this a big boost for Sunderland?

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He has averaged 3.1 tackles and interceptions per game – bettered only by Luke O’Nien and Corry Evans – and won 56% of his individual duels, which shows that he has been strong defensively and has not been a weak link at the back.

Journalist Josh Bunting hailed Cirkin’s importance to the Black Cats, recently tweeting: “He’s been one of the standout performers this season if not the standout performer to be fair. Can’t afford to lose him.”

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This comes after the 20-year-old was pivotal to the club’s promotion from League One last term. He played 37 times in the third tier, starting 34 games as he established himself as a regular in the team after his move from Premier League outfit Tottenham.

Cirkin’s versatility also makes him a useful player for Mowbray to be able to call upon, as he is capable of playing at centre-back and left-back. That means that he can be used out wide in a back four or three and in the heart of the defence as part of a three, alongside the likes of Danny Batth and O’Nien.

Therefore, his return means that the manager has a versatile, important member of the squad back available, and that is why Mowbray should be delighted with the full-back’s recovery from injury.

Article title: Sunderland: Dennis Cirkin has returned to training this week

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