Denver Hume contract detail confirmed as Sunderland boss Lee Johnson explains defender's fitness situation
Lee Johnson says the two-year deal that Denver Hume has signed was the one initially offered to him by the club.
The defender was out of contract this summer and originally elected not to agree fresh terms at the Stadium of Light as he weighed up his options.
Sunderland’s offer remained on the table as Hume recovered from a hamstring injury at the Academy of Light.
That was partly because Sunderland felt the club had a duty of care towards a young academy graduate, and partly because they would have been entitled to a compensation fee if the defender moved elsewhere.
Hume, 23, has since returned to light training and put pen to paper this week.
When asked if the contract Hume signed was the one which was on the table earlier this summer, Johnson replied: “Absolutely. That is the one he signed."
Hume will now look to build his fitness back up, with Johnson hoping the defender will eventually compete with Dennis Cirkin for Sunderland’s left-back spot.
“I think first and foremost we have to assess where he is physically,” replied Johnson when asked about Hume’s fitness.
“He’s on the back end of a triple hamstring injury and an operation so we have a duty of care, while the team is doing so well, to bed him in gently.
“There is a lot that has gone on and he has to get that confidence back in his hamstring and in his performance.
“Physically he’s a really good mover so that never really stands out as a problem in his sprint technique and defending movement.”
Sunderland may also use games in the Papa John’s Trophy to give Hume some much-needed minutes on the pitch.
“We have to build him up and it’s almost like a pre-season now that he’s got to have – under-23 games until he’s fully ready to go in the league,” Johnson added.
“We have got games you can blood players like that, like the Papa John’s games, but we just have to do the right thing for the benefit of Denver and the benefit of the club.
“Whether that is a day training with the 23s or a first-team start, I guarantee it will be a long-term and medium-term decision-making process.”