This article is part of Football League World’s ‘What does the future hold?’ series, this content strand is where we evaluate and subjectively debate a player’s future at their current club…
Chris Maguire has managed to establish himself as a really key part of the Sunderland side in League One over the last two seasons, helping to provide some attacking quality in the final third for the Black Cats.
The 31-year-old has had something of a mixed career in English football, with Maguire having shown moments of real talent and quality in the final third during spells with the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United and Oxford United, but also at times being guilty of perhaps not having the consistency that is also needed alongside that talent.
Sunderland took a chance on Maguire in the summer of 2018, with the attacker arriving at the Stadium of Light from Bury signing a two-year deal, and he managed to establish himself as a key player in the side under Jack Ross last term, as the Black Cats aimed to make an immediate return to the Championship, before falling just short in the play-offs.
Maguire scored eight goals and provided four assists for the Black Cats in League One last term, and he has already bettered that tally this season, registering an impressive total of ten goals and nine assists in 35 League One appearances, which has seen him emerge as one of the most influential attackers in the English third tier.
Phil Parkinson has at times been frustrated with the lack of consistency in Maguire’s performances, especially during a tricky period for the Black Cats around December time, and that culminated in the Sunderland manager having a serious heart to heart conversation with him, following him and Aiden McGeady being pictured at a service station eating McDonalds after their 1-0 defeat at Gillingham.
QUIZ: These 15 players have played for both Sheffield United and Sunderland – True or false?
Since then though, Maguire has managed to get his season back on track and he has continued to be one of Sunderland’s most influential performers in the final third, which means that he could well still have a major role to play in the club’s challenge for promotion when the season eventually resumes.
Maguire, though, is set to be out of contract at the end of the season, according to Transfermarkt, which means that he could face an uncertain future come the summer, and he might feel like his performances have done enough to earn him one last crack at the Championship.
That means that should Sunderland fail to earn promotion this season, he might decided to try and find a move elsewhere, while it also remains to be seen whether Parkinson will be wanting to keep hold of him, or instead look to bring in a player with the club’s longer term future in mind.