'On another level' - Trent Sainsbury excited for PSV step up after securing Mark van Bommel reunion

Trent Sainsbury PSV
The Socceroos defender is looking forward to linking up with Mark van Bommel again

Less than a week after being stuck in limbo with Chinese club Jiangsu Suning, Trent Sainsbury is now on the cusp of the UEFA Champions League group stages after joining reigning Eredivisie champions PSV.

Having recently earned a release from Suning, the Socceroos defender has settled on Netherlands as his next destination despite strong interest from Queens Park Rangers.

PSV have topped the Dutch league in three of their past four domestic campaigns and will play either Qarabag or BATE Borisov in the fourth stage of Champions League qualifying. 

It's an important step forward in Sainsbury's career and he revealed it was one he couldn't resist taking.

"It’s a massive club and it’s an honour to be a part of it," Sainsbury said.

"The club I had before (Grasshoppers) was a loan deal because I had to get out of China before the World Cup - PSV is on another level, a different standard.

"Everybody in the world knows this club, they’re a Champions League club so why wouldn’t you want to come here?"

Another key reason behind Sainsbury's choice of clubs was PSV's new head coach Mark van Bommel, who was the Socceroos assistant coach at the 2018 World Cup.

Sainsbury played all three of Australia's game in Russia and starred under Bert van Marwijk and van Bommel's guidance.

Knowing where van Bommel was heading after the World Cup, Sainsbury knew he wanted a reunion. 

"After the World Cup knew I had to look for a new club, Mark was obviously there with the national team of Australia and once I heard he was going to be the head coach of the PSV team it was one I wanted to be a part of as well," he said.

"I think one of the reasons I’m happy to join here is because I know the coach already, I know the style he brings to training and the way that he handles his players. I’m looking forward to working under him again.

"He has an idea he wants to implement in training and he won’t back down from that idea and I think most successful managers have that same philosophy."

Article continues below

Having briefly played as a defensive midfielder with Grasshoppers in Switzerland last season, Sainsbury admitted he's keen to return to his more preferred centre-back position with PSV as he looks to secure regular first-team football.  

"Probably just nail down a first team spot, play some continuous football injury free and just enjoy myself," Sainsbury said when asked about his goals. 

"I think I’ll stick with (being) a central defender for now. I’m just looking forward to getting among the boys."