Sunderland signing Wes Brown is destined to be one of the top centre-backs in the Barclays Premier League, Steve Bruce believes.
Brown, who signed for the north-eastern club from Manchester United at the beginning of July, impressed against Liverpool on Saturday, fighting off Andy Carroll to hold the Merseyside club to a 1-1 draw at Anfield.
And Bruce had nothing but nice things to say about Brown, who already looks comfortable in red and white stripes.
“Wes Brown showed what a great defender he will be for us. Wes rolled back the years. He is arguably one of the best natural English centre-halves we have had,” Bruce told the Journal.
“He has not played, he has been injured. [Nemanja] Vidic and [Rio] Ferdinand have done well so we have managed to get him. That’s his first game for months. If he stays fit and we get [John] O’Shea back then we will be better than last season.”
Bruce said that Brown’s key to success as a player lies in his physical strength over the opposition, as well as his experience, spanning over 200 appearances for Manchester United.
“Wes is as tough as they come. That experience of playing against an old-fashioned centre-forward is sometimes needed, he had it and it showed. He dropped off when needed and attacked the ball when needed,” Bruce said.
“We also have Anton [Ferdinand], [Michael] Turner and Titus [Bramble], who have been out. It is important we have competition. We are getting there and I am happy with that.”
While Sunderland will only take a point from the Liverpool game, the side will no doubt be happy to have started the season without a loss in the tough match-up. The Black Cats now prepare to face bitter rivals Newcastle at home this Saturday.