RR: Laurens De Bock arrived at Leeds on the back of a successful stint as the first team left back at Club Brugge, where he even made a few Belgium national team squads and played Champions League football. What sort of impression of De Bock were Leeds fans given when he signed in Jan 2018?
TIAT: He had dropped out of the Club Brugge side just before we signed him (apparently due to a switch in formation). However, when we signed him he seemed like a good signing based on reputation. Most of the opinion of him before Leeds, based on Googling him/Twitter, was fairly positive before we saw him.
RR: What sort of defender is he? Is he comfortable going forward, or is he more defensive minded?
TIAT: This is hard to give a strong answer on as he was poor in both directions in a Leeds shirt. He seemed reluctant to go forward but he was in a formation at the time where Leeds’ full backs weren’t given as much freedom as they are now.
RR: Why hasn’t it worked out for him at Leeds?
TIAT: From outside the club it would seem the reason it hasn’t worked out is because he isn’t very good. However, based on what has been said about his performances at Brugge - there must be more to it. A fresh start somewhere else and dropping down a level may help him get some confidence back.
RR: Do you see any sort of future for De Bock at Leeds? With this particular deal being a loan it leaves his future beyond his season-long loan with Sunderland open to interpretation.
TIAT: Never plays for Leeds again. As near as guaranteed as you could get.
RR: Overall, how do you view this piece of business, both for Sunderland and Leeds United?
TIAT: How good the business is for Leeds depends on how much of his wages Sunderland are paying. Getting him off the wage bill is the most important thing from our perspective.
From a Sunderland point of view I wouldn’t expect him to be a good signing. Hopefully for you he proves the Leeds fanbase wrong and shows something else for you.