This is why Sunderland wanted to sign Tottenham Hotspur defender Dennis Cirkin and what Jose Mourinho said about him
Sunderland have signed Tottenham Hotspur defender Dennis Cirkin – but who is the full-back?
Earlier this summer, the club announced contract extensions for Aiden McGeady and Luke O’Nien as well as several signings for their youth team.
Those deals were strengthened by the arrival of Alex Pritchard, Callum Doyle and Corry Evans.
And Sunderland can now add Cirkin to that list after he agreed a three-year deal.
But what do we know about Sunderland’s latest signing? Here, we take a look:
Dennis Cirkin – fact file
So what is the story with Dennis Cirkin and Sunderland?
Sunderland were in the market for full-backs after the departures of Conor McLaughlin and Callum McFadzean, with Johnson still waiting on a contract decision from Denver Hume.
The club had agreed a deal with Liverpool for left-back Tony Gallacher before reportedly pulling out of the move.
What experience does Dennis Cirkin have?
Cirkin lacks any real senior experience.
The 19-year-old left-back is yet to feature for the Spurs first-team.
However, the England youth teamer has been named on the bench in five games across all competitions for Tottenham.
He isn’t afraid of pushing forward to attack and netted seven goals dor Spurs’ under-16 team during the 2017-18 season.
The player then progressed through the youth set-up at Tottenham and made 14 appearances for the under-18s the following campaign.
Cirkin has also featured in European competition at youth level for Tottenham, taking on starlets from Barcelona, PAOK and FC Porto before progressing into the Premier League 2 set up for the London club.
In January 2020, Cirkin was named on the bench for the first time as Tottenham defeated Middlesbrough 2-1 in an FA Cup third-round replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Has much been said about Dennis Cirkin while at Tottenham?
When the England youth international has signed his first professional contract with Tottenham two years ago, he earned praise from then-boss Jose Mourinho.
Indeed, that very day Mourinho mentioned the player during his pre-match press conference ahead of the Premier League clash against Bournemouth.
"I couldn't be at the game but I watched on video our youth team playing in the [UEFA Youth League], and we also have [Dennis Cirkin]," he said.
"OK, he’s 17, but he’s a kid with a lot of quality, and I look forward to bringing him to train with us, and to help his development."
Why did Tottenham want to sell Dennis Cirkin?
Cirkin was Nuno Espirito Santos’ fourth-choice left-back at the club.
The youngster was behind Ben Davies, Sergio Reguilon and Ryan Sessegnon.
That means he was unlikely to break through into the first team and his development would be better suited where he can play regularly.
What has the former Tottenham Hotspur defender said about the move?
“I’m delighted to be here,” he told Sunderland’s website.
"As soon as I got interest from Sunderland, it was a no-brainer – the fans, the stadium, the history – and I just thought the club was perfect for me.
"I feel like the head coach has a very good track record with young players and I feel like this is a place that I can progress and develop in my career.”