Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat addresses Seb Larsson's lack of playing time

Sunderland Gates

The Swede has played a bit-part role so far this season.

Sunderland manager Dick Advocaat has hinted in the Echo that the club’s player of the season last year – Seb Larsson – isn’t doing enough to warrant starting this term.

The Swede was an ever-present when available for the Black Cats last year, and missed just two Premier League matches due to suspension.

He started the first two games of this season but has since had to be content with substitute appearances and when asked about the 30-year old's absence from the first-team, Advocaat gave a cryptic response.

“Yes, he’s one of the players who was a regular last season. It’s a good question why he’s not played so much this season,” said the Dutchman, in quotes published by the Sunderland Echo.

“But that’s up to him. It also depends on what the team is doing.

“There must be a reason why he hasn’t been playing.”

Competition for a midfield berth is tougher this season, with the arrivals of Yann M’Vila and Ola Toivonen restricting Larsson’s playing time.

Change is needed, however, after a run of form that has seen Advocaat’s men fall to rock-bottom in the Premier League and fail to register a win in their first seven attempts.

The nature of their recent defeats has been worrying and one thing Larsson is guaranteed to bring is fight and desire – something this Sunderland side could do with an injection of.

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