The Black Cats battled hard to earn a point away at Liverpool, and Bruce has been quick to hail his new signing.
“He rolled back the years. For me he is arguably one of the best natural English centre-backs we’ve had,” Bruce told reporters.
“He’s been fit since last February but this was his first competitive game since that time.
“He’s as tough as they come and that experience of knowing how to play against a big centre-forward showed [against Andy Carroll], he had it off to a tee. He was terrific. Dropped off when he needed to, went up against him when he needed to, he gave a proper performance.”
Fellow new boy Sebastian Larsson, who hit a stunning second-half equaliser, was also overjoyed with the former England man’s performance.
He said: "He was fantastic. It was nice seeing him and Anton [Ferdinand] do well. Ever since Wes came here he's been a leader, he's a terrific player and obviously can only get better by playing regularly.”