Revealed! Sunderland’s defence the busiest in the Premier League - with van Aanholt making the most tackles

Sunderland's Patrick van Aanholt (right) and Yann M'Vila tackle Tottenham Hotspur's Ryan Mason

Sunderland's Patrick van Aanholt (right) and Yann M'Vila tackle Tottenham Hotspur's Ryan Mason

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Sunderland’s defence IS the busiest in the Premier League with under-fire Patrick van Aanholt making the most tackles so far this season, according to new official figures.

That may come as no surprise to some, with the winless Black Cats second bottom in the league after the opening five rounds of matches.

But the much-maligned van Aanholt’s statistics may shock some supporters, with the Dutch left-back coming under heavy criticism so far this campaign.

The 25-year-old has made 22 tackles so far in 2015-16, making him joint-top in the latest figures released by the Premier League.

Meanwhile, Sunderland’s defence overall has racked up 129 in their opening five league matches - putting them four clear of unbeaten Leicester City.

And with Sunderland struggling at the wrong end of the table, it will come as no surprise to see Romanian stopper Costel Pantilimon among the top five keepers when it comes to saves made.

Pantilimon has made 22 saves, putting him fourth on the list behind Stoke keeper Jack Butland (27), Alex McCarthy (24), of Crystal Palace and Newcastle United’s Tim Krul (24).

Sunderland have drawn two games and lost the other three this term, with Pantilimon yet to keep a clean sheet.

It leaves the Black Cats 19th, with just two points, ahead of the long trip south to play Bournemouth at Dean Court with misfiring neighbours and fierce rivals Newcastle United propping up the league table.

Dick Advocaat’s side produced a much-improved display against Spurs at the Stadium of Light last weekend, with a late Ryan Mason winner denying them a deserved point.

They head to Bournemouth looking for their first three points of the season.

And van Aanholt, Pantilimon & Co will be hoping for a much quieter afternoon...