Left-back Van Aanholt and centre-back Kirchhoff both started the Premier League game at St. James’ Park on Sunday afternoon.
The duo played for the entire 90 minutes, as the Tyne-Wear derby ended in a 1-1 draw.
Former Sunderland prospect Preece was impressed with the duo, although he pointed out that Kirchhoff, who played in front of the back four against Newcastle, is physically fragile.
I've been a big critic of Van Aanholt but I thought he was as good as I've seen him today. Kirchhoff oozes class, but fragile physically.— David Preece (@davidpreece12) March 20, 2016
The draw with Newcastle means that Sunderland remain in the Premier League relegation zone and are in real danger of getting relegated to the Championship at the end of the season.
The Black Cats will return to action at the start of next month when they take on West Bromwich Albion at the Stadium of Light in the Premier League.