The Wearside-based club acquired the services of the 21-year-old defender from Premier League club West Ham on a season-long loan deal in the summer transfer window.
Alves joined Sunderland with the hope of earning valuable first team experience, but has been restricted to just one minute of League One football so far.
Despite the lack of playing time, Sunderland boss Johnson has been impressed with the Dane and explained that he did not put a foot wrong in the two EFL Cup games he started in.
However, Johnson, who sees potential for Alves to play in midfield, admitted that there is still a lot of work to do with the West Ham loan star and stressed that he needs to be taught the dark arts as a defender.
“I think he’s done well and I really like him“, Johnson was quoted as saying by the Sunderland Echo.
“He’s a really good athlete, in terms of physicality he’s got a great leap and his recovery is quick.
“I think he’s a little bit of an introvert and I don’t think we’ve quite seen the best of his forward play yet.
“I think he’s better on the ball than what he’s shown so far but he hasn’t really put a foot wrong in the two games he’s played defensively.
“There’s loads to work on as there is with any young defender, timing of headers, the dark arts, all those things.
“I’d like to see him in midfield as well.
“He can definitely play in holding midfield and that is an option, whether it be in a game or starting.“
While he has only made three appearances across all competitions for Sunderland so far, Alves will be hopeful of earning valuable first team experience before returning to West Ham.