An update has emerged on Sunderland and their pursuit of Jan Paul van Hecke in the summer transfer window…
The report claims that the Lancashire outfit are currently leading the race to sign him after the news of Alex Neil’s exit from the Stadium of Light.
It is stated that Brighton are demanding a hefty loan fee of around £500k to allow the defender to leave for the season.
If Kristjaan Speakman can beat Blackburn to the signing of the Dutchman then he could form a solid partnership with Danny Batth at the back for the Black Cats.
The pair could be a nightmare for opposition teams to deal with in the air as they both excel at winning headers against their opponents.
Batth won 75% of his headers for Stoke in 2021/22 and averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.10 – a score only four Sunderland players are currently bettering – which shows that he has the ability to be a solid player at this level.
The Black Cats can now find a solid partner for him, alongside Dennis Cirkin, by signing van Hecke to bolster the defence.
In an interview with Roker Report, Blackburn content creator Dan Ainsworth described the 6 foot 2 gem as “aerially dominant” and claimed that he’s “got everything to play at the very top level and any Championship club is lucky to have him.”
The Brighton man also won 61% of his duels with his head whilst on loan in the Eredivisie the season before that, which shows that he is very strong in those situations – just like Batth.
His spell with Rovers also means that he has Championship experience and is capable of putting in superb performances on a consistent basis, which suggests that he could hit the ground running at the Stadium of Light.
Now, imagine him and Batth dominating opposition strikers and bullying them in the air throughout the rest of the campaign.