This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
The future of Aiden McGeady at Sunderland has been a topic of debate that has rumbled on for several months.
It was evident that the winger was not a fundamental part of former Black Cats manager Phil Parkinson’s plans at the Stadium of Light, however the early signs in the Lee Johnson era suggest the 34-year-old could play a part this season.
In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Mackems striker Kevin Phillips admits he could envisage seeing McGeady depart in the upcoming January transfer window, with his contract expiring in the summer.
Phillips said: “McGeady is a tough one. You could cash in on him in January and bring in a younger player.
“I heard last week that the club is starting from scratch again. That could mean getting rid of a Grigg and a McGeady or bringing youth players in.”
So, what should Sunderland do here? Cash in or keep hold of him?
The team here at FLW take a look…
Lee Johnson isn’t daft and we’ve already seen McGeady back in the fold with an assist to his name in League One.
He’s a top player and if Sunderland have aspirations for getting promoted this season there’s going to be room for him in the playing squad at the Stadium of Light.
Long-term, I think it’s inevitable he will depart, but I’d keep him around for the remainder of this season.
He’s still got enough to offer at this level if he and the new manager hit it off.
The evidence so far suggests they have done just that.
The big festive Sunderland quiz: Can you get 20/20?
McGeady hasn’t had much of a chance to prove himself in the Sunderland first-team in recent seasons, but I still think he has a role to play for Lee Johnson’s side.
The Black Cats are going to need depth in attacking areas of their team, and I think McGeady is an excellent option to call on when needed.
If Johnson doesn’t rate him highly enough, then they should move him on, but I can see him working his way back into the first-team squad in the coming months, where squad rotation is likely in the hectic festive period.
I think they’d be making a mistake in selling him in the January transfer window.
I just wonder whether it’s worth keeping him.
It’s not worked at all in recent times at Sunderland but we know the quality he has and I just wonder if Lee Johnson feels he can get the best from him.
If he can, they have another top player able to help them in the promotion race but it’s obviously a big ‘if.’
Johnson will be weighing up whether it’s worth keeping him so I wouldn’t say it’s a slam dunk either way in terms of what he’s going to do just yet.
If the manager doesn’t see a future for the winger, though, then it’s for the best he moves as soon as he possibly can – both for the sake of the club and his own future.