Laurens De Bock on 'difficult' Leeds United spell and hopes for a fresh start at Sunderland
Laurens De Bock is hoping to make the most of a fresh start in English football after joining Sunderland on a season-long loan.
De Bock struggled for regular minutes at Leeds United after signing a four-and-a-half year deal last January.
The Belgian was signed by Thomas Christiansen after a long and successful spell with Club Brugge, but the Danish manager was replaced by Paul Heckingbottom just weeks after his arrival.
De Bock fell behind Barry Douglas and Tom Pearce in the pecking order following the arrival of Marcelo Bielsa, and was loaned back to the Belgian top tier, where he made 20 appearances for Oostende.
Sunderland moved for the 26-year-old after Bryan Oviedo and Reece James left the club this summer.
“It's important to get minutes,” De Bock told safc.com.
“Leeds was a difficult period, I had a good start in the first two or three games but then the manager got sacked and I got an injury, so it was really difficult. I hope to have a new start here, to play and win games.
“I'm very happy to be here. I heard a lot about the club because some Belgian players were here and I talked a little bit with them. Everybody was really positive, so I'm really happy.
“I know the team wants to go up this season and hopefully my experience will help us achieve that,” he added.
“The manager has been really positive in the conversations I’ve had with him and that’s given me a great feeling because I know they believe in me.”
De Bock also revealed that he had been a fan of the recent Sunderland ‘Til I Die documentary.
“I knew they were a big club and in the Premier League, I also saw the documentary on Netlflix, which gave me a good image of how everything works,” he said.
Jack Ross said he was looking forward to working with the Belgian.
“We have had to work hard to get Laurens in because he’s a player that’s got a really good pedigree in terms of Champions League and Europa League experience,” he said.
“He’s excited about coming here so we’re looking forward to working with him.”