Aiden McGeady can still produce the goods to a high level for Sunderland and has been impressing with his quick feet, dribbling and goalscoring ability for some years now. But could he still do a job in the Championship?
The winger has had a somewhat rocky career path in recent years. Initially a solid player at Celtic, he was tempted by Spartak Moscow but had a mixed time at the club.
He then ventured over to England and to Everton, where he again failed to make too much of an impression. He was duly shipped out to Sheffield Wednesday and having not done too much of note at the Owls either, it looked like his move to Preston North End might produce more of the same.
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Only this time, the winger flourished.
With eight goals in 35 appearances, he was a hit with the Lilywhites and became an important player for them. The PNE faithful were devastated when he returned to parent club Everton and even more so when he didn’t make a permanent switch back to Deepdale. Instead, he tried his luck at Sunderland.
With flashes of brilliance for the Black Cats, it was clear to see they had a good player on their hands. But with McGeady joining at a tumultuous time in Sunderland’s history, he eventually struggled to feature and then joined Charlton on loan.
Back at his parent club though since 2020, the side are finally seeing what he can offer them. When given the chance, the 35-year old has retained that keen vision to setup a teammate, that fantastic eye for goal and them superb dribbling ability. Without him, Sunderland at times have looked like they sometimes lack that extra bit of creativity that McGeady offers.
Already this year he has bagged five goal contributions in just nine games. It’s obvious then that McGeady isn’t slowing down. Instead, he is making up for lost time and is continuing to deliver to the high standards he has now set himself.
He’s certainly adept at League One level and he would benefit any side in the third tier that signed him. But could he make the step up to the Championship again and continue to produce? Should a side sign him in January?
Going off his current showings, there is no reason why the winger couldn’t be a force in the Championship too. His time at Preston may have been four years ago now but the player is still hungry, still grabbing goals and can still pick a pass. He hasn’t fallen off in the slightest and yes, Sunderland may be a league lower but they’re fighting right towards the top end of the table and is arguably one of their better players too.
If a side could seal a relatively cheap deal for him – one which would represent low risk and high reward – then it could be something for a team to pursue in January. His contract with the club expires at the end of the current season, so the Black Cats could certainly consider offloading the player.
If a side were to offer a fee for him – and there was no sign or attempt at fresh terms – then they would definitely have to consider it.
As for what team could sign him, perhaps it would be best for a younger side or a team battling relegation that could use his experience to help fire the club higher up the table that would benefit most from him. One of the newly-promoted sides like Peterborough or Hull then or even Barnsley.
The Oakwell outfit have struggled for goals this year so far and McGeady could perhaps provide that extra bit of creativity to bamboozle opposition defenders and either tee up his teammates like Cauley Woodrow or go all the way and score himself.
Whether a team decide to sign him or not, there is certainly still gas left in the tank with the winger – and a team could use that to their advantage if they signed him in the winter transfer window.