Jack Ross on when Sunderland fans can expect to see Joel Lynch and Laurens De Bock in action

Jack Ross hopes that Joel Lynch could be in contention to make his Sunderland debut next weekend.

Thursday, 12th September 2019, 5:30 pm

The centre-back will feature alongside deadline day signing Laurens De Bock on Monday, when the U23s take on Middlesbrough.

That means neither are likely to feature when Rotherham visit the Stadium of Light on Tuesday night, but Lynch could be pushing to feature in the squad when the Black Cats travel to Bolton Wanderers.

De Bock, who was frozen out at Leeds United over the summer, will likely have to wait a little longer for his first appearance.

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Joel Lynch is closing in on full fitness

Sunderland do have a Carabao Cup fixture against Sheffield United this month, four days after the trip to Bolton.

“Laurens De Bock and Joel Lynch will play for the U23s on Monday,” Ross said.

“They’re still a little bit behind fitness wise but they’re getting ever closer.

“That’s helped him.

“Joel will hopefully get 90 minutes on the Monday and then heading towards the weekend, he would be starting to be pretty much available.

“Laurens will be a little bit behind that.”

When fit, De Bock brings extensive top tier and European pedigree, but Ross insists that his arrival will not limited opportunities for talented youngster Denver Hume.

“We were very clear before we got Laurens in that we didn’t want to recruit a player of similar age and experience to Denver, because we didn’t to block his pathway,” he said.

“This season, when’s he been fit, played and played well, he’s continued to play.

“He’ll continue to do that, at the moment he’s in possession [of the shirt]. He’s one of our own players, I want him to do well, but we needed competition in that area to push him.

“It doesn’t change the dynamics that much other than it gives us another natural option on that side of the pitch.”