Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill believes Titus Bramble can be a key player in his squad this season, provided he can stay injury free.
The 31-year-old arrived at the Stadium of Light two years ago but has had continuing fitness problems.
The arrival of a number of key signings has also seen the centre-back drop down the pecking order.
However, O’Neill was effusive in his praise for the former Newcastle and Ipswich man and says he does have a future at the club.
“Titus’s problems are always about staying fit. It is always a balancing act with Titus in training during the week – we have to get as much training into him without aggravating any injuries, or risking swelling of the knees,” O’Neill told the Shields Gazette.
“It’s a shame because you can see just how good he could have been had it not been for the injuries, but he still has a lot to offer.
“He’s bigger and stronger than he looks too. He won’t get out-muscled by anyone.”