Dick Advocaat relaxed on fitness of new Sunderland signing Younes Kaboul

Younes Kaboul

Younes Kaboul

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Dick Advocaat does not expect Younes Kaboul’s lack of game-time to be an issue at the start of the season.

Kaboul impressed in Sunderland’s final pre-season friendly against Hannover 96 after being selected ahead of captain John O’Shea to partner Sebastian Coates in central defence.

He’s a good player, quick and strong in the air and that’s just what we need

Dick Advocaat

It was only the second appearance Kaboul has made during Sunderland’s pre-season programme after his £3million move from Spurs, while he hasn’t played competitively since January.

The 29-year-old’s tally of just 11 Premier League appearances for Spurs last season was predominantly due to injuries, which have hampered the France international over recent years.

But Advocaat is not fretting over Kaboul’s fitness record, ahead of next weekend’s Premier League opener at Leicester.

Advocaat said: “Younes feels good. I asked him how he was feeling at half-time, and he said that his legs were really good.

“He played 60 minutes or so and that is really good.

“He’s a good player, quick and strong in the air and that’s just what we need.”

When asked if Kaboul’s selection ahead of O’Shea was a hint towards the team sheet at Leicester, Advocaat was more coy.

“In terms of the team selection, you never know, we will see what happens at Leicester,” said the Dutchman, who was without injured pair Steven Fletcher and Wes Brown.

Kaboul was not the only new signing to impress in Germany, with Jeremain Lens again looking bright and grabbing the only goal of the game with his first in a Sunderland shirt.

“Jeremain has come in and done well, although I think he can be even better than he was in Germany,” added Advocaat.

“It was really warm and that can affect someone who plays like he does.

“He is someone who will always offer a threat to an opponent with his pace and his shooting ability.

“The rest of his game will come, you will see.”