LAURENS de Bock has revealed how a bit of Netflix and a chat with Belgian compatriots helped to persuade him it was the right time to drop down to League One to boost Sunderland’s promotion charge.

After weeks of trying to bring in a new left-back following Bryan Oviedo’s departure, de Bock has arrived on a season-long loan after falling out of favour at Leeds United.

And without revealing the identity about those he spoke to, the 26-year-old has explained how those he spoke to had positive things to say about the club.

That contributed to his decision to sign for Sunderland – who were unable to pull off a surprise move for Celtic forward Scott Sinclair - before the 5pm deadline for League One and Two clubs to finish their bits of transfer business.

De Bock will now compete with highly-rated young gun Denver Hume for the right to play down that side, with Jack Ross having to ask right-footed Conor McLaughlin to fill in there at times already this season.

The former Club Brugge defender, who moved to Leeds in January last year, follows other Belgians such as Jason Denayer, Adnan Januzaj and Simon Mignolet to have played for Sunderland in recent years.

De Bock said: "I am very happy to be here because I have heard a lot of good things about the club. I’ve spoken to other Belgians who have played here, and they’ve all spoken very highly about the place.

“I know the team wants to go up this season and hopefully my experience will help us achieve that. The manager has been really positive in the conversations I’ve had with him and that’s given me a great feeling because I know they believe in me.”

And de Bock explained how he watched Sunderland ‘till I Die on Netflix to get up to speed.  He told "It was important for me to come here and play more minutes in England. The period at Leeds has been difficult.  “I had a good start and then the manager got sacked and I got an injury also, so it was really difficult. I hope to get a new start now here in England by playing for Sunderland and helping them to win games.

"I know this is a big club that was previously in the Premier League and I also saw the documentary on Netflix. That gave me a good image of the club and how everything works here. I wouldn't say I know a lot about the club, but I am here to find out now."

De Bock was one of a number of left-backs on Sunderland’s radar as Ross looked to boost his squad before the window closed for clubs lower down the English Football League ladder.

Sheffield Wednesday and Kilmarnock are known to have knocked back advances from Wearside for Morgan Fox and Greg Taylor, respectively. Both clubs wanted more money than Sunderland were willing to offer.

There was also contact and discussions with Swansea City for Wales international Declan Jones but a deal for him never materialised either. Rather than wait to attack the free agent market, though, Sunderland turned to Leeds to secure the services of de Bock on loan.

De Bock became the seventh addition of the summer and he will be keen to make an impact having lost his way at Leeds. 

Ross said: "Getting some competition into our left side has been a priority for a while now. We have had to work hard to get Laurens in because he’s a player that’s got a really good pedigree in terms of Champions League and Europa League experience. He’s excited about coming here so we’re looking forward to working with him.”

De Bock was at the Academy of Light on Sunday for a medical and then finalised things ahead of the deadline. His arrival coincided with plenty of interest in centre-back Jack Baldwin.

Ross was happy to listen to offers for Baldwin following his decision to bring in Joel Lynch last week.

Baldwin mulled over a loan move to Salford City and then completed a season long deal just in time with the League Two club, at the same time as Lynch was appearing in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Carlisle.

Sunderland won the game 5-1 and it was a match designed to give fringe players some more minutes on the pitch, but in particular Lynch who has not played all summer since leaving Queens Park Rangers. His last first team outing was for QPR on Good Friday.

Sunderland’s transfer business was largely completed before securing the signature of de Bock yesterday – but that didn’t stop them being interested in signing Sinclair from Celtic.

Sinclair has been faced with dropping down to League One – where there was numerous clubs keen – or going overseas, but his £30,000-a-week wage was the stumbling block.

Younng striker Jack Diamond, meanwhile, has joined Harrogate until January.

Sunderland will travel to Sheffield United on Wednesday, September 25 for the Carabao Cup third round tie.