Sunderland are going to have some massive decisions to make in the summer transfer market.
Much has been made of the club’s challenge to secure promotion from League One and that will clearly have a huge say in what level of business Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and co are able to do.
The automatic promotion spots appear to be out of reach, meaning that if they are to go up it’s likely to be through the lottery that is the play-offs.
But regardless of what league they’re in it would be foolish for Sunderland not to make some key decisions over their players.
Plenty of Lee Johnson’s squad are out of contract this summer with some of them reported to be attracting interest from elsewhere, however one player is a particularly curious case.
Of course we’re talking about Aiden McGeady.
The winger arrived at the Stadium Of Light in 2017 and enjoyed a decent campaign in the Championship with seven goals and five assists in his first campaign.
That was followed up the next year with 20 goal involvements as Jack Ross’s side fell just short in their hopes of securing promotion.
However it then seemed that his Sunderland career was over when Phil Parkinson took over and made a conscious effort to build a team without the Republic Of Ireland international.
With his contract due to expire this summer it seemed that McGeady had played his last game for the club until Lee Johnson took charge and brought him back into the fold.
What’s happened since then has been remarkable.
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This season McGeady has scored six goals and created 14 in just 30 appearances in all competitions, establishing himself as one of the top performers in League One and certainly one of Sunderland’s most influential stars.
Promotion will surely hinge on his performances, but Sunderland need to be looking at the long-term too.
Regardless of what league the club find themselves in it would be a massive blow to see the winger move on.
McGeady is the club’s highest-earner and so any move to extend his contract would clearly take some negotiating based on the current terms of his contract.
But there’s no doubt that the 35-year-old has earned a new deal.
Given his age there’s no disputing that it would be foolish to hand out a long-term deal, but if Sunderland could convince McGeady to join on a one-year extension it would be massive for the club.
He’s certainly good enough to play in the Championship and we’ve seen this season that he’s capable of taking League One by storm.
McGeady clearly loves playing under Lee Johnson and if the former Bristol City boss can convince the winger to stick around next term then it could prove to be a wonderful piece of business that gives Sunderland that x-factor as they prepare for their first full season under the ownership of Dreyfus.
There’s likely to be plenty of new arrivals at the club but the impact of the old guard must not be underestimated as the club prepare for an exciting new era.