The name of Aiden McGeady has long been linked with controversy around the Stadium Of Light.
It was just over a year ago that the winger was told by Phil Parkinson to stay away from the club after a fallout behind-the-scenes.
That seemed to put the writing on the wall for the 34-year-old as he spent the second half of last season on loan with Charlton Athletic, but as is the way with Sunderland AFC, you’re never too far away from a major twist.
With Parkinson leaving the club McGeady has been handed a surprise platform to bring himself back into contention at first team level.
While still building up his fitness, the winger has made two appearances for Sunderland so far this term and already contributed one assist for the club in that time.
It’s a relatively small sample size, but supporters are excited to see the quality that he has to offer once more.
The hope now is that they’ll be seeing a lot more of the talented star.
McGeady’s long-term future at the club seems uncertain at best with his contract due to expire at the end of the season.
Given that he’s thought to be one of the highest-paid players in League One it seems that his time at the Stadium Of Light could be coming to an end with the club all-but certain to try and trim his wages from the bill at the end of the season.
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There’s a chance that they could try and offload him in January, but given the size of his wage packet and the lack of football that he’s played it’s unlikely that there’ll be a long queue of teams waiting to make a move.
That’s why Sunderland must make the most of having the winger around.
There’s no doubt that Aiden McGeady is one of the biggest names playing in League One and as we’ve seen in recent weeks he is still more than capable of being a top, top player for the Black Cats.
Sunderland need to kick on and push towards securing promotion this term – something that a player such as McGeady can certainly help with.
The winger has a point to prove after a year in the wilderness, and with Lee Johnson’s side unlikely to be able to sign a senior star in the January transfer window, they must use of him.
If McGeady can shine in the next six months then he could earn a lucrative new contract next summer, while for the Black Cats there’s the obvious lure of being back in the Championship.
It’s a solution that would suit both parties and that’s why Johnson’s number one task has to be on reintegrating the winger into the side and building the team around him.
After all, given the performances that the club have put in this term it’s a gamble that is certainly worth taking.