What can Sunderland fans expect from Manchester City loanee Jason Denayer?

If Jason Denayer was hoping for a quiet introduction to life at Sunderland in the low profile Checkatrade Trophy then he had another thing coming.

Wednesday, 7th September 2016, 9:37 am
Updated Friday, 9th September 2016, 9:42 am
Jason Denayer in action for Sunderland

League One strugglers Rochdale ensured Denayer & Co 'enjoyed' a really competitive evening at the Crown Oil Arena.

Ian Henderson, Callum Camps, Jamie Allen and Peter Vincenti were the star performers for Rochdale, the quartet a constant thorn in the Sunderland defence.

It led to a tough evening's work for the 21-year-old Belgian at the heart of the Sunderland defence - but he stood up to and passed the test in front of the watching David Moyes.

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Denayer was in the Under-23 side, along with Jan Kirchhoff, to boost his fitness levels, but it was a good game to boost his match sharpness too, with Rochdale a constant threat.

Henderson's performance, in particular, meant it was a far from comfortable night for the Manchester City loanee but that is exactly what Moyes would have wanted.

Denayer showed he has pace, is comfortable on the ball - including one mazy run in the first half - and likes a crunching tackle now and again.

One moment in the first half stood out when he first blocked and then got straight back up to hoof clear a Rochdale attack.

Far tougher tests await in the Premier League but this was a promising debut from Denayer, who looked solid and unruffled at the back.

He was busy throughout but rarely looked stretched or caught out, with his positional play good.

Moyes has already said he may look to use a back three this season, with Denayer, Lamine Kone and Papy Djilobodji all competing for a centre-back slot along with skipper John O'Shea.

Central defence is one position that Sunderland have some strength-in-depth and athletic Denayer looks a solid addition to the ranks.