Former Sheffield Wednesday captain Glenn Loovens leaves Sunderland

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Defender Glenn Loovens has left League One side Sunderland after reaching an agreement to bring his contract to an early end.

The Dutchman, who made 150 appearances for Wednesday between 2014 and 2018, made only 13 starts for the Wearside club.

Loovens, who turns 36 next month, was plagued by injury problems at The Stadium of Light. His final appearance for the Black Cats came at Portsmouth in December when he was sent off in a 3-1 defeat at Fratton Park.Sunderland boss Jack Ross said: "Glenn is a top, top guy.

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"I think he would have wanted to make a bigger contribution on the pitch, but he would probably admit that halfway through last season his body was finding it tough and challenging keeping fit."It's not easy when that happens.

Former Owls captain Glenn LoovensFormer Owls captain Glenn Loovens
Former Owls captain Glenn Loovens | JPIMedia

"He is a brilliant professional in terms of looking after himself, he was great to have around the changing room, and I know that when people look at his time here they will say he only played a few games but he was really helpful to me.

"Pottsy [coach John Potter] takes the defensive unit two or three times a week and Glenn always comes in and always contributes.

"It is a mark of him as a player and as a person. He is a really good guy and he has been a pleasure to work with."

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Loovens deal was due to run out at the end of the season but he has departed Sunderland by mutual consent.

"I would like to thank everyone - the players, staff, and fans - for the support they've shown and the help they've given me throughout my time at the club," he said.

"Sunderland is a special club and I would like to wish them all the best for the rest of the season and beyond."

On the possibility of Loovens moving into an administrative role within football, Ross said: "I had a chat with him today and he is not entirely sure what he is going to do.

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"If he does continue, I think he'll take stock - it won't be the main driver for him.

"He's at a stage in his life where he has to think about these things - I remember what it was like for me, and it is a strange feeling.

"He is a bright guy with a lot to offer within the game and he has his own ideas of what area he might like to work in.

"He's done some coaching with the academy here but I think he is interested in going into the recruitment side."