After a lot of post-season uncertainty regarding whether or not some of their key players would sign on the dotted line, Sunderland have managed to secure the futures of two important figures for next season and beyond.
Charlie Wyke may look to be heading elsewhere for the 2020-21 campaign but last week one of the stars of the Black Cats’ season in Aiden McGeady renewed his contract for another year.
And the Irish wizard has been joined by Luke O’Nien, who has put pen-to-paper on a new three-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
Following a season where he was named in League One’s Team of the Season, O’Nien was linked to several Championship clubs, including Preston North End and Luton Town, but it appears that his future lies on Wearside.
Despite arriving at Sunderland in 2018 having played in central midfield for Wycombe Wanderers, O’Nien has played a lot of his time at right-back for Sunderland and last season he was shifted into a centre-back role due to injuries as he proved his incredible versatility.
That should come in handy ahead of the 2021-22 season and following Sunderland’s coup of keeping O’Nien, the 26-year-old spoke out about his delight of staying with the club for another three years.
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“I’m delighted to sign a new contract with Sunderland,” O’Nien told the club’s official website.
“I’d like to thank Lee Johnson and Kristjaan Speakman, and the owner and the staff, for putting their trust in me and enabling me to continue to play for this great club.
Hearing their plans for the club and how they want to develop me personally was incredibly exciting and I can’t wait to get going again.”
After sealing the McGeady deal last week, getting O’Nien to come back as well is a huge move and it means that Kyril Louis-Dreyfus must be flexing his financial muscles.
O’Nien had interest from the league above and like any player he will want to test himself at the highest level possible.
However if they make the right signings then Sunderland should be favourites for promotion to the Championship in 2022 and O’Nien could be a big part of that – and the fact he may be playing in-front of over 40,000 Wearsiders every week could have played a factor in his decision to stay as well.