JENSON SEELT joined Sunderland because he felt he needed a new challenge in his career – and the Dutch centre-half is confident the Black Cats can help him realise his dream of playing in the Premier League.

Seelt’s switch from PSV Eindhoven was confirmed at the weekend, with the 20-year-old centre-half signing a five-year contract at the Stadium of Light.

Having made 63 appearances for Jong PSV, the Eindhoven club’s second-string team, in the Dutch second tier, Seelt could have remained in the Netherlands and pushed for a place in the senior side next season.

Instead, he has opted to move to Wearside and test himself amid the hurly-burly of the Championship, with a step up to the English top-flight his ultimate long-term aim.

“It feels like I need a new challenge,” said Seelt, who was due to meet his new team-mates for the first time at the Academy of Light this morning as the Black Cats’ senior players reconvened for the start of pre-season training. “When Sunderland came, it was a big opportunity for me.


“I think it’s a very good level. I want to go to the Premier League and Sunderland want to go to the Premier League, so I think we both have great plans for the future. I think I can make my potential here.

“It feels great to be here. Obviously, it’s a big club. It just feels very good to be here and I can’t wait to get started.”

As well as meeting Sunderland’s sporting director, Kristjaan Speakman, Seelt also held discussions with head coach Tony Mowbray prior to moving to the Stadium of Light.

All four of the Black Cats’ summer signings so far have been aged 20 or under, and the club’s reputation for nurturing and developing young players was a key driver behind Seelt’s decision to uproot to England.

“I spoke with the coach and he showed me stats of young players who played a lot here,” he said. “I just think it’s very good for me to get minutes here and get my level up.”