Former Stoke City winger James McClean has left the bet365 Stadium to sign a one-year contract at Wigan Athletic, it was confirmed yesterday evening.
The Irishman first joined the Potters during their 2018 summer transfer window spree, arriving in Staffordshire from West Bromwich Albion for a fee of £5m and was tipped to be one of their key players in getting them back to the Premier League.
However, they have struggled to compete for the last three seasons since their relegation from the top flight, finishing in lower midtable positions and underperforming despite the calibre of players they had at their disposal.
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McClean was a regular for Stoke during his first two campaigns at the club, making a combined total of 78 Championship appearances and recording 26 goal contributions in the process, not too much of a shabby total considering the Potters’ decline.
However, he only appeared 24 times in the second tier last season and missed the last month of the campaign after playing through a foot injury on international duty with the Republic of Ireland.
Manager Michael O’Neill said he was disappointed to have seen him play for Ireland with this injury – but it remains unknown whether this contributed to his decision to omit the 32-year-old from their pre-season training camp in Northern Ireland.
After being left out and made available for transfer, he looked almost certain to leave the bet365 Stadium and has now secured his move away to former club Wigan Athletic, ending his three-year stay in Staffordshire with less than 12 months remaining on his previous deal.
With this, we take a look at how many Stoke City fans have reacted to his departure on Twitter.
I missed the game tonight and I also missed this announcement.
He was controversial, but we often looked a better side with him in it.
Watching him limp to the corner against Sheffield in 2019 and then deliver for the third goal will be with me forever. https://t.co/bqlIIA0ypx
— Ian – but not THAT Ian (@sailingbikeruk) August 17, 2021
Good luck to him. The right decision in the end, but he was one of our best players during 2019/20 and his efforts could never be questioned. https://t.co/r7o1LuYDOb
— . (@SCFCJosh96) August 17, 2021
Quietly forgotten by so many Stokies that James McClean was voted by Stoke City fans as the club’s players of the year for season 2019/20. https://t.co/dVipp8BOSy
— John Leonard (@JohnLeonard1908) August 17, 2021
Hallelujah!!! Thank god for that https://t.co/sE97ffxWY5
— Pownzzz (@Pownzzz98) August 17, 2021
A good servant to Stoke for the first two years, especially the 19/20 season scoring some crucial goals which helped to keep us up.
I could never fault his work rate at all, always really nice whenever I spoke to him, but it’s a shame how it ended.
Good luck at Wigan, James 👍 https://t.co/hhrOrrY7h6
— Harvey Todd 🇳🇴 (@HarveySCFC_) August 17, 2021
10/10 window 😍 https://t.co/ooyBEJbyFK
— Alex Oldham (@AlexOldham94) August 17, 2021
Think the responses to this tell you how overdue this is, but better late than never.
Get Ince gone, Delap & a CDM in, and this will be a stellar window!!
Come on, you can do it!! 👍 https://t.co/ISJx6peVi5
— Stokie'73 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️ (@potter2207) August 17, 2021
Despite the negatively he always put his all in when he was in the shirt. Maybe not been so great the last season or so and I think the change is good for us. Thanks for everything tho James ❤️🤍 https://t.co/tPY2e69os4
— rebecca (@beccaunderwoe) August 17, 2021