Former Sunderland man says 28-year-old black Cats star is underrated by players and fans

Danny Collins believes that despite having two fantastic feet and demonstrating tremendous poise on the ball, Sunderland star Luke O’Nien is underappreciated.


Last season, the 28-year-old defensive midfielder was largely utilized as a centre-back by Sunderland manager Tony Mowbray.


In the absence of Corry Evans, Mowbray has given O’Nien the captaincy this season, and the Englishman has been an important element of Sunderland’s defense.


Collins believes that O’Nien has created a nice defensive relationship with Dan Ballard, where they complement one other, and that the 28-year-old may appear quiet, but he is good at winding up opposition players.


He also remarked that, despite his calm demeanor when in control of the ball and two good feet, O’Nien is underappreciated by his teammates and the Sunderland crowd.


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Collins told Sunderland’s media, “I know obviously people have questioned him about playing at the back.”


“We let Danny Batth go, and we brought in two young centre-backs to sit on the bench behind Luke.”

“However, his collaboration with Dan Ballard is excellent, and they complement each other slightly.”


“Luke can take care of himself; he’s not the biggest, but he’s a little naughty.”


“He comes across as the choir boy, but he has that little naughty side to wind up the opposition players as well, but with composure on the ball and two good feet, I think he is underappreciated by players and possibly by fans as well.”


“I know he works really hard at his game and puts the shift in the training ground, puts the hours in and he is getting his rewards now.”


O’Nein has appeared in all ten league games for Sunderland this season, helping the Black Cats record four clean sheets and two bookings.

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