Lee Johnson gives Frederik Alves update and explains where he fits into Sunderland's plans

Lee Johnson is considering bringing Frederik Alves into the Sunderland squad for Tuesday night’s trip to Burton Albion.

Monday, 16th August 2021, 12:00 pm
Updated Monday, 16th August 2021, 12:45 pm

Alves sealed his season-long move from West Ham United on Friday afternoon, and as such was not able to feature in the 2-1 win over Mk Dons.

Johnson is set to assess Alves in the build up to the clash with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s side, who have also won their opening two games of the season.

The Black Cats had been in the market for another centre-back to add depth to their options, with Arbenit Xhemajli still working his way back to full fitness and Jordan Willis expected to be absent for the majority of the campaign.

Sunderland have signed Frederik Alves on loan

Johnson believes that Alves can in the long run go some way to fill the void left by Dion Sanderson, who had a hugely successful loan spell on Wearside last season.

“We'll absolutely try to get him involved in the squad as quickly as possible,” Johnson said.

“Obviously you're not going to make any promises because you need to see exactly where he's at.

“First and foremost I'm a big believer in having real strength in depth in that area.

“I think you need round pegs in round holes in that position. Sometimes you can be flexible with other positions but for that one I think that it's really important.

“He was available, and was someone who we have watched and followed for five or six months consistently.

“He's someone that Stuart Harvey really likes and rated. He is good on the ball, tall and mobile.

“We did our research and it's going to be really interesting to see how he gets on.

“I don't want to compare them but he is much in the mould of Dion, in terms of the style of play. But obviously, they're both their own individual players.”

While Alves’ arrival strengthens Sunderland’s defensive options in the middle of the park, Johnson is eager to add two further full backs to his squads.

The Black Cats still need a specialist right back, while further cover is needed if Denver Hume does not sign a new deal at the club.

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