Under the midst of the Jobe Bellingham & Semedo signings, Sunderland put pen to paper on yet another young talent in the form of Jenson Seelt. The Dutch 20-year-old centre back joined on a long-term deal from PSV Eindhoven under the noses of Journalists and reporters alike, with minimal coverage and prior whispers.
So, what does Jenson bring to Sunderland and how can the young Dutchman fit into Mowbray’s plans ahead of the 23/24 campaign?
Let’s dive into some of Seelt’s data from his previous season and see what made Speakman pull the trigger on yet another young star in the defensive area of the pitch for the lads in red & white.
During the 2022-2023 season, Jenson Seelt played for PSV’s sister side PSV II in the second tier of the Dutch leagues the Eerste Divisie playing a total of 3063 senior minutes with 32/33 fixtures having him within the starting lineup.
Firstly, the sheer number of minutes played, and games started is a huge plus for Sunderland, showcasing Jenson’s ability to remain match-fit and play as many minutes when available as possible.
It must be said, however, that the second tier within the Netherlands is considerably weaker than the Championship and therefore Seelt may find himself bouncing between the first team and Sunderland’s U23 setup at the beginning of the season.
With a staggering height of 192cm (6ft 3”) Seelt is yet another towering figure added to Sunderland’s back line, operating primarily on the right side of the defence due to his natural strong foot being his right, he provides adequate cover to Dan Ballard in the same way Aji Alese does on the left for Danny Batth and addresses the weakness Sunderland faced after losing both centre-halves in the crucial run in of the 22/23 playoff run.
Taking a closer look at Seelt’s match data, we can paint a picture of the kind of defender we expect to see line up in the familiar colour of red & white for Jenson Seelt.
Last season he completed an average of 6.2 defensive duels per 90 with a 69.7% success rate, certainly not something to be scoffed at and showcases Seelt’s ability to perform consistently when facing tough opposition forwards in game situations.
Seelt sees himself as a ball playing defender alongside that of Trianntis who also completed a move to Sunderland and demonstrates the archetype of player Speakman is trying to recruit to the club. This can be reflected through his data as he attempts around 56.8 passes per game with a success rate of 87.7%, this demonstrates that he’s comfortable with the ball at his feet and showcases solid distribution out from the back.
This can be further supported through one of the 4 goals he grabbed last season, getting on the end of a marauding run into the box and finishing emphatically into the top corner shows that Jenson is calm and composed with the ball at his feet.
Looking at the passing map above, we can see the ball progression displayed from Seelt, with his ability to play long diagonal switches a key part of his passing range, if we factor in the attacking threat of both Clarke & Cirkin making wide runs into deep areas, this can be a huge weapon in Sunderland’s arsenal when attacking in transition next season.
The analytics on Jenson Seelt look promising, something which the recruitment team at Sunderland will of course have considered when scouting the Dutchman and all the signs are there for a bright future ahead of him on Wearside. As previously stated, Seelt’s first team minutes will more than likely be very limited due to his position as cover for our main centre-back pairing however, he looks more than capable of stepping in to fill a role when required. With the height and technical attributes to boot, Jenson Seelt looks like another steal for Sunderland and the future looks promising for the young Netherlands starlet.
I’m sure we’ll get out first glimpse at Jenson in a Sunderland shirt during the various pre-season friendlies and 1st round Carabao Cup tie at the Stadium of Light for Sunderland next season, but strength in depth is always important for teams challenging at the top and I think Sunderland now have that in abundance with the signing of Seelt.