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Kevin Phillips says agreeing key deal should be Sunderland’s priority this summer



Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has said that the Black Cats’ priority this summer should be tying forward Ross Stewart down on a long-term deal following their promotion to the Championship.

Stewart’s current deal expires next summer in 2023, but after a strong campaign, the former Sunderland striker says the club must secure his services on a longer-term basis.

“I think the priority is to get him tied down on a long-term deal.” Phillips said, via the Sunderland Echo.

“He’s been outstanding this season and for me he’s got everything.

“He can run, he can hold it up, he can score goals, he can head it.

“Technically he’s very good as well and his work rate is excellent so he’s certainly a player that Sunderland need to get tied down.”

The attributes mentioned by Phillips above resulted in Stewart having an extremely impressive campaign at the Stadium of Light.

In 53 appearances in all competitions, the Scotsman scored 26 goals and registered five assists in 2021/22, including one in the League One play-off final versus Wycombe.

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On that play-off final, Phillips revealed that he celebrated the victory with the players in their team hotel.

“I was there. I was celebrating with the players afterwards as well at the team hotel,” Phillips continued.

“I have clearly still got an affiliation with the football club and now living in the area I know what it means for the football club.

“Everyone concerned was buzzing and they thoroughly deserved it on the day and they have deserved the two play-off games as well where I thought they were the best team.

“I’m delighted for them that they are back in the Championship at last.”

The Verdict

Kevin Phillips is absolutely correct here.

Ross Stewart was fantastic in League One for Sunderland this season, and if he can repeat that success in the second-tier, it will alert plenty of clubs to his talents.

If that happens, the last thing Sunderland want is the player on an expiring deal with the option to potentially depart the Stadium of Light on a free transfer.

As such, Stewart should be rewarded with a new deal, although, whether he would be interested in signing it remains to be seen.

BJTC accredited MA Multimedia Journalism graduate. Freelance Football Writer for FLW.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Kevin Phillips says agreeing key deal should be Sunderland’s priority this summer

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