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Exclusive: Sunderland take 23-year old former PSV Eindhoven defender Wouter Verstraaten on trial

Former PSV Eindhoven and current South Shields FC central defender Wouter Verstraaten is on trial this week with Sunderland.

Jupiler League - “Photocall FC Eindhoven” FC Eindhoven

Roker Report have learned that Dutch central defender Wouter Verstraaten is on trial with Sunderland this week.

The 23-year old - who plays for local Northern Premier League side South Shields - has joined up with the club to train after news emerged at the weekend of an injury to Bristol City loanee Bailey Wright, which is set to keep him out for the remainder of the current season.

Wouter started out his professional career with PSV Eindhoven, progressing through their youth ranks before eventually moving on to play for FC Eindhoven for a season.

Verstraaten plays for South Shields because he currently studies at Durham University, and as such shelved his full time football career in a bid to further his education. Prior to this year, Verstraaten played in America for Pacific Tigers and the U23s side of the Portland Timbers, again alongside his university studies.

Described to us as “very good - a real athlete with good technique” by a South Shields-supporting source, the dutchman is well thought of at Mariners Park, with co-manager Lee Picton recently describing him as a “Rolls-Royce of a defender”.

It’s unknown whether interest in the player is serious, or whether Sunderland are just making sure they’ve seen what he’s capable of after being tipped off.