The new Sunderland signing will only get better the more he plays.
When Sunderland sealed a deal for Bayern Munich defender Jan Kirchhoff earlier this month, a quick glance at his recent history showed he was always going to take time to settle at the Stadium of Light.
After all, here was man who had played just one first-team game all season following an Achilles tendon injury that had also ruled him for much of the previous campaign.
Such is Sunderland’s current situation in the Premier League that signing players still some way off match fitness was always going to stretch the patience of the Black Cats faithful, and when Kirchhoff had a debut to forget against Tottenham Hotspur he was swiftly dubbed a flop.
However, he got some more much needed football under his belt for Sunderland’s under-21s against their Sheffield United counterparts on Tuesday evening and he even got on the score-sheet with a fine header in a 2-0 victory.
A clean sheet and a goal should not be sniffed at, even at under-21 level, and it is fair to say Kirchhoff will want to prove his performance at the weekend was a blip rather than a sign of things to come.
Relegation threatened teams can rarely preach patience, but in the case of Kirchhoff that is exactly what is needed; because in time he could prove to be a wonderful addition who can make an impact at both ends of the field.