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Is Jan Paul van Hecke any good? Blackburn fan Dan gives the lowdown on rumoured SAFC signing

Press rumours indicate that Sunderland are about to sign Dutch defender Jan Paul van Hecke - is he any good? We spoke to someone who knows all about him - Blackburn fan Dan Ainsworth…

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So… Jan Paul van Hecke - is he any good?!

Absolute class.

He was sent off early on for us after essentially karate kicking Harry Wilson in a 7-0 loss to Fulham.

We all thought his time at the club was going to be as a back up, but he broke back into the team and never looked back, winning our Player of the Year award.

What kind of defender is he?

A solid defender who is comfortable with the ball at his feet. We found last season that he would drive forward from defence and help us get forward.

He’s also solid in the air so there’s no worries with that.

We play a back three most the time - where abouts would he fit into our team?

That’s ideal for Jan as he played in that for us all season and he really impressed.

For us, he was the centre of the back three so I’d expect him to feature there for you.

Preston North End v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dave Howarth - CameraSport via Getty Images

Are you surprised he’s heading for Sunderland?

Massively, and that’s no disrespect to Sunderland.

We all expected him to be involved in the Brighton set up this season and play quite often, but that’s not happened.

We then thought if he does go on loan, it’ll be to one of the big boys or the league or to us!

Why did he do so well at Blackburn then?

His ability to come out of defence with the ball was massive for us and it was really the reason why he was involved so much with the squad.

He really made himself loved by the fans for the passion shown. Our fans love that, and I know Sunderland do too.

What are his key strengths and weaknesses as a player?

His ability to bring the ball out of defence is a massive strength and probably the reason I’d sign him.

He’s also aerially dominant which is obviously key for a centre back.

In terms of weaknesses, and I’m being picky here, he can make rash decisions like the Fulham red card I mentioned.

Reading v Blackburn Rovers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by David Horton - CameraSport via Getty Images

What is his ceiling - is he destined for the top leagues and international honours?

I mean this genuinely, I think he’ll be at the top level for both his team and his country.

The composure, ability on the ball and everything else that makes him the footballer he is makes him someone who’ll suit being on the big stage.

For any Sunderland fans who aren’t sure about this signing, what would you say to them?

I’ve seen every game he’s played for us and if you take the Fulham game out of it, he really did not put a foot wrong.

He’s got everything to play at the very top level and any Championship club is lucky to have him.

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