Sunderland’s latest signing, Scottish international Jon McLaughlin, has denied stepping down to League One is a step back after joining from Heart of Midlothian.
McLaughlin made his international debut on 2nd June against Mexico, but doesn’t see the switch to the Stadium of Light as detrimental to his career. Instead, he points to the case of Scotland captain Charlie Mulgrew, who has just completed a season with Blackburn Rovers in League One.
“You look at our captain Charlie Mulgrew,” he told the Sunderland Echo. “He played for Blackburn for League One. If a player has the quality it will shine through. But that players in the international scene want to come here shows the stature of the club.”
McLaughlin also pointed to the size and stature of the Black Cats as a reason for switch, with that being more of a motivation than the division in which they play:
“I certainly don’t see moving back to League One, at this club anyway, as a backwards step in any shape or form. There were opportunities to go to different clubs in higher divisions but this is a huge football club and so in that respect, I don’t see it as a backward step at all.”
McLaughlin, 30, had been offered a new deal at Hearts, but instead chose to sign for Jack Ross’ side on a two-year contract last month.
He has a great point, Charlie Mulgrew didn’t suffer as a result of dropping into League One and there’s no reason he should. He’ll be playing in front of some big crowds this season, with Coventry, Portsmouth and Charlton all likely to contribute to an electric atmosphere on Wearside.
Would that be the case when Hearts visit Kilmarnock or St Johnstone? Joining Sunderland now is a wise move as they’re going to be on the up for the next twelve months.