Sunderland have been plagued by injuries over the last few weeks with the likes of Cirkin, Ross Stewart and Ellis Simms all requiring time on the sidelines, although that hasn’t appeared to impact the results they’ve been able to pick up.
While the lack of football recently due to the cancellation of games two weeks ago and now an international break will be annoying for fans, it will have allowed Sunderland’s walking wounded to step up their recoveries, especially Cirkin.
Smith believes that Cirkin will now be back to full fitness once the international break is over.
“I think Cirkin should definitely be back available. It’s going to be really interesting for the Preston game because dear me, it’ll be harsh on Aji Alese if he’s not in that starting XI against Preston.
“Can you get both in the team? Maybe there is a way, so that’s going to be a really interesting one to watch.”
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TIF Thoughts on Cirkin’s return to fitness…
After arriving as a promising talent last summer from Tottenham Hotspur, Cirkin managed to impress in League One racking up 34 appearances and now seems to be thriving with the step up into the Championship.
Prior to his injury, Cirkin had started every single league game for the Black Cats managing to keep two clean sheets in the process, but now he appears to have competition in the form of Aji Alese, someone Smith believes can feel hard done by if he doesn’t start against Preston next weekend.
At just 20, Cirkin has a bright future ahead of him and if he can rack up a serious amount of first-team minutes under his belt this season at such a young age, he could well be destined for bigger and better things, although he will likely only be focussed on the here and now with Sunderland.