Sunderland AFC manager, David Moyes, has stated that Black Cats have dearly missed midfielder Jan Kirchhoff this season.
The German has been a firm favourite with the Stadium of Light faithful, since his move from Bayern Munich in January 2016.
However Kirchoff has struggled for fitness in the current campaign, with hamstring and knee cartilage injuries keeping him out since December and down to six appearances.
The 26-year-old has returned to light training at the Academy of Light with the intention in returning in a few weeks, and Moyes admitted that the German has been missed.
“You’ve got to remember that Jan has missed a lot of football," Moyes admitted to The Chronicle. "Either through this injury or other injuries he’s had."
“This season," the Scotsman sated. "We’ve really not seen a lot of Kirch."
“I think his stature in the middle of the park is important for us as well," he added. "He would give us a different look in midfield.”
Hate coming up here
Sunderland will face a tough test as they continue to fight for their Premier League survival on Sunday, when they welcome Manchester City to Wearside.
There will be some confidence as City have found it difficult coming to the Stadium of Light over the last few seasons, and striker Fabio Borini stated that the side's confidence ahead of the clash.
"As a player you always want to play against the best players," Borini told safc.com. "We played well against City on the opening day of the season."
"We almost got a result because we were compact," the Italian admitted to the club's website. "We defended well and we took our chances, and we have to be the same this weekend."
"It will also be harder for them at the Stadium of Light," Borini concluded. "Because they hate coming here.”