Gary Rowell: Manchester City defender vital for Sunderland

Sunderland's recent upturn in form, four wins from seven, was a long time in coming and has given everyone renewed hope and with it a lot of the players are getting more credit.

Tuesday, 20th December 2016, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 1:58 pm
In good form: Jason Denayer. Picture by FRANK REID

Victor Anichebe has been a huge part of that improvement as has young Jordan Pickford and Jermain Defoe’s goals will always win games.

But one player who has caught my eye lately is Jason Denayer.

Brought in on loan from Manchester City, it was more a case of David Moyes desperately getting in bodies, even as cover, but since getting a regular start, he’s made himself a key player.

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I have seen him play centre-back and right-back but because of the unbelievable amount of injuries in midfield, he has been asked to do a job in that area and he has risen to the challenge.

He’s mobile, quick, very positive and if the ball is there to be won, he’ll go for it and the fans love that type of attitude in a player.

Come January with Lamine Kone, certainly, and Papy Djilobodji, possibly, leaving to the African Cup of Nations, we are going to be short at the back so he’ll probably have to revert to his original position as there will be only him and John O’Shea available to play there.

It’s always good for a boss to have players willing to play in any position asked of them as, believe me, there are plenty that won’t, they’ll play in their position and no other.

With a crippling injury list and players leaving to go on international duty, Sunderland’s small squad is going to be stretched even further and that’s why versatile players with a great attitude, like Denayer, can be worth their weight in gold.