Sunderland winger Aiden McGeady has suggested that he regrets that he was unable to complete a permanent move to his former club Preston North End, before joining the Black Cats in the summer of 2017.
McGeady had found himself surplus to requirements at Everton by the summer of 2016 and made the move to Preston on loan for the 2016/17 campaign, and the winger recaptured his form at Deepdale going on to register eight goals in 34 Championship appearances and earning the club’s Player of the Year award for that campaign.
The following summer, though, saw Simon Grayson leave Preston to takeover the managerial job at Sunderland following their relegation from the Premier League, and McGeady followed him to the North East on a permanent deal from Everton.
The winger has since gone on to suffer relegation to League One with the Black Cats, but he did play a vital role in Sunderland’s run to the League One play-off final last term where they were beaten by Charlton Athletic, who McGeady is currently playing for after signing on loan in January.
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Speaking to Preston’s iFollow channel (via Lancashire Live), McGeady revealed how his preference was to return to Deepdale on a permanent deal the summer he signed for Sunderland, but the Lilywhites did not have the finances to complete any deal.
He said: “Everton didn’t want a massive amount of money, but they wanted me gone.
“I was like ‘I’ll 100% sign here, even if a better offer came in for more money or whatever’, I didn’t want to lose what I had at Preston.
“Financially I don’t think Preston could do it, but even with Sunderland in the background I still wanted to come back to Preston and I even said to my agent a few days before, ‘see if they can do anything’ – if I could’ve gone back to Preston, I would’ve.”
These are interesting comments from McGeady and represent how sometimes players are not able to get the move that they are really hoping for and are forced to settle for a move elsewhere, and the winger was clearly keen to continue where he left off at Preston following his loan spell from Everton.
However, that summer things changed at Deepdale with Alex Neil replacing Grayson as manager and the Lilywhites went in a different direction recruiting more younger players with the potential to develop, and you can certainly see why McGgeady then opted to follow Grayson to Sunderland.
Things have not gone the way he would have been hoping them to have at Sunderland, with the Black Cats having been relegated to League One in his first season at the club, but he showed his quality last term and was one of their most influential attacking players.
Given he has been sent out on loan to Charlton during the second half of this season, it will be interesting to see what happens to McGeady at the end of the campaign, and whether or not his future will be at the Stadium of Light or elsewhere.