Chris Coleman has praised the commitment of on-loan Liverpool starlet Ovie Ejaria as the midfielder traded Under-23s football for the 'brutal' nature of Championship survival.
The 20-year-old has only featured three times for Sunderland due to a niggling injury since his January loan move was rubber stamped, but Ejaria has impressed his new club boss with his displays in the matches he has played in.
Speaking to the Chronicle Live, Coleman - whose Black Cats side find themselves rooted to the foot of the table - explained how Ejaria's desire to make it at the top level was something that should be lauded.
Furthermore, the ex-Wales gaffer also stated his belief that Ejaria's 'bravery' in possession would help his side retain the ball better and carve out better opportunities in the long run.
He said: “Ovie’s come to us with a little problem with his thigh. He’s played the first few games then missed a couple. He’s a good player.
“It’s hard for him because he’s come out of under-23 football playing for Liverpool in games where they dominate and come to us, bottom of a brutal league, which is very physical, but he’s coped very well. He’s very brave in possession.
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“He’s done well but there’s more to come from him. I think he’ll get better and better with the more games he plays but he’s a good player.”
Ejaria had made eight senior appearances for Liverpool, since his senior bow in September 2016, but did not appear to be able to truly cement himself as a key option for Jurgen Klopp at the present time.
Instead, the German opted to send the England Under-20 international out on loan to continue his football development in a lesser league, and allowed Sunderland to take Ejaria on for six months to help their battle against the drop.
Sunderland have 28 points from 34 games this season and need a huge positive run of form to prevent a second successive relegation after last season's Premier League fall out.