Sunderland star backed to become a ‘top, top player’ by his teammate

According to Dan Neil, Pierre Ekwah is an important member of Sunderland’s squad.

According to Sunderland teammate Dan Neil, Pierre Ekwah has the qualities to become a “top, top midfielder.” Since being paired together towards the end of last season and then into this season, Ekwah and Neil have developed a very effective partnership in the middle of the park.

Ekwah, a former West Ham player, suffered a dead leg in Sunderland’s win over QPR in mid-September, disrupting the partnership, but he returned for the game against Stoke City while Neil was serving a one-match suspension.

But they were back together last week at Leicester City, and in the weekend win over Norwich, Ekwah’s presence allowed Neil to push further forward from midfield to support the attack, which paid off when Neil scored his side’s second goal against the Canaries.


Tony Mowbray explains what Pierre Ekwah needs to do to break into his  Sunderland team


When asked about the 21-year-old, Neil responded, “Yeah, he’s brilliant.” He possesses all of the characteristics of a top-tier midfielder.

“Left foot, big, powerful, can strike a ball, scores from the edge of the box like we’ve seen this season. The dead leg kind of came for a bad time for him because he was finding his rhythm.

“He looks back up to speed and looked really, really good on Saturday. I love playing in midfield with him because he’s always looking to fire balls through the lines and if I’m not on he’ll hit the switch and it’s a chance for me to get in the box.

“We are developing a good partnership, me, him and Jobe [Bellingham] and we just need to keep going.”

Sunderland’s victory over Norwich ended their three-game losing streak and moved Tony Mowbray’s side up to seventh place in the Championship. Their campaign continues on Saturday, when they travel to the Liberty Stadium to face Swansea City.

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