Phil Parkinson reveals the reason why Leeds United defender Laurens De Bock is leaving Sunderland

Laurens De Bock has returned to Leeds United for personal reasons, with the left-back keen on a return to Belgium.

Thursday, 2nd January 2020, 9:14 am

The left-back joined Sunderland on loan in the summer but has endured a forgettable loan stint at the Stadium of Light.

Leeds had a recall option as part of the loan deal.

Phil Parkinson confirmed the news in the aftermath of his side’s 1-1 draw away at Fleetwood Town, Chris Maguire rescuing a point for Sunderland in the final five minutes from the penalty spot.

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Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson

The Black Cats were certainly worthy of a point and could have come away with all three, Charlie Wyke’s header hit the post while other Maguire also saw an effort saved.

The January window opened today and Parkinson is expected to be busy though he does not envisage any new faces before the weekend visit of Lincoln City.

Parkinson said: “Laurens has gone back, he wanted to go back to Belgium.

“Leeds had the option to call him back. It was more a personal thing, he wanted to go back home.

“That is more wages we can utilise in the window.”

Asked whether left-back now becomes a priority in January with Denver Hume the only recognised left-back in the squad Parkinson said he did not want to leave himself short.

He added: “Luke can play there, he is two footed, Conor McLaughlin can play on the right and Goochy can play wingback but yeah that now becomes an area [to strengthen], we don’t want to leave ourselves light in any area.

“I want to make sure we have cover in all areas and we have a strong second half of the season.”

Asked if there would be new signings before the weekend, Parkinson added: “No.”