After three years at Stoke City, James McClean has waved goodbye to the Potters to re-join his former club Wigan Athletic on a one-year deal.
The Republic of Ireland international as ever has been embroiled in some controversies in his time at the club since joining in a £5 million deal in 2018 from West Bromwich Albion, but for the most part he has been a regular starter in that time.
McClean spent the majority of the last few months of the 2020-21 campaign on the sidelines though, and with Michael O’Neill seemingly going in a different direction with his team by getting rid of some high earners and giving more younger players a chance, the 32-year-old has been left out in the cold.
He has however secured a move back to a former home at the DW Stadium, where he should provide a lot of experience to a League One club who will be gunning for promotion back to the Championship.
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McClean’s departure has seen current Stoke players such as Tyrese Campbell, Alfie Doughty and Danny Batth amongst others react to a post the Irishman has made on his personal Instagram account.
Despite splitting opinion in the fanbase, it’s clear to see McClean was well liked in the dressing room at the bet365 Stadium.
It is quite strange how McClean can go from the club’s Player of the Season in the 2019-20 campaign to departing a year later to a League One club, but O’Neill clearly wants to move Stoke forward in a different direction and it’s so far working on the pitch.
Stoke’s loss of an experienced figure in the dressing room though will surely be Wigan’s gain though, especially with him going back to a club where the majority of the fans will be right behind McClean.
This seems like a good move for all parties and should he still be around at the Latics next season and they get promoted to the Championship at meet Stoke, he will surely get a good reception upon his return to Staffordshire.