The centre-back arrived from Bayern Munich last month and he had a shaky start to life in England, which was no surprise given his lack of game-time in the Bundesliga this season.
However, the 25-year-old is beginning to find his feet at the Stadium of Light and he ran out there for the first time against City on Tuesday evening.
Kirchhoff played in front of the back-four against the Blues and he put in a fine performance, suggesting that both he and fellow January addition Lamine Kone have what it takes to pull Sunderland clear of the bottom three in the weeks ahead.
Unfortunately City won 1-0 courtesy of a Sergio Aguero strike but on this evidence Sunderland should be fine.
Speaking to reporters after the match, Kirchhoff said, “When you play with this intensity you can be a strong opponent to every team in the world and when we play like this we’ve got a good team, we’ve got good quality, we’ve got good players in the squad.
“We’ve got to go on like this every week to get points.”
It is a bold statement but there is no doubt Sunderland’s players fought hard on Tuesday and will do so again at the weekend against Liverpool.
Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) February 3, 2016