Kevin Phillips believes forward Will Grigg has already played his last game for League One side Sunderland after leaving to join Rotherham United on loan, speaking to Football Insider.
After establishing himself as a considerable goalscoring threat for Wigan Athletic and forcing his way into Northern Ireland’s squad for their European Championships campaign in 2016, he earned himself a move to the Black Cats in a substantial £4m deal in February 2019, almost unheard of in the third tier.
But the 30-year-old has failed to live up to expectations at the Stadium of Light, struggling massively on Wearside and scoring just eight times in 62 competitive appearances.
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There was a glimmer of hope for Grigg when star striker Charlie Wyke left the League One outfit on the expiration of his contract this summer, but Ross Stewart has been the man to step up in his place this season and with Nathan Broadhead arriving on loan from Premier League side Everton, he looked to be surplus to requirements for Lee Johnson’s men.
Sure enough, the Northern Irishman sealed a deadline day move away to third-tier rivals Rotherham United – and after recording 11 goal contributions in 20 league appearances for MK Dons last term – he will be hoping to have another successful loan spell away from Wearside.
His contract at the Stadium of Light runs out in 2022 – and with this – former Sunderland forward Kevin Phillips believes the 30-year-old’s time at the club is up.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I think that’s the last we will see of him (Grigg) at Sunderland to be honest.
“It just hasn’t worked out for whatever reason. The quicker he moves on the better, for both parties.
“I cannot see him wearing a Sunderland shirt again.”
The vast majority of Sunderland fans will probably agree with what Kevin Phillips has said here, because Grigg’s time with the Black Cats has been nothing short of a disaster with the money they spent on him.
On paper, at the time, this looked to be a decent signing for the League One side that could have been the key to Championship football. But it just seems as though he hasn’t settled in well at the Stadium of Light, especially with how good his form was at MK Dons last season.
You would back him to do well at Rotherham United though under Paul Warne – and it’s clear that his parent club needs to sever their ties after two-and-a-half years – even if they lose him on a free which they are set to do at the end of this campaign.
This is the only drawback of this loan move – because there was little prospect of Grigg returning to his old form and he wouldn’t have helped the Black Cats on their quest to get back to the second tier this season.
A clean break is needed for both parties and it may not be entirely his fault, but Sunderland supporters that have seen him in action for the past couple of years are probably glad to see the back of him. That feeling might be mutual after a disastrous time there.