Sunderland owner Stewart Donald has told the Roker Rapport podcast that captain George Honeyman is on course to trigger a one-year extension clause in his contract, and Black Cats fans should be delighted.
Well, the 24-year-old midfielder has become a really key player for the Wearside outfit this term as they look to make an instant return to the Championship – so much so that he was handed the armband by manager Jack Ross.
He has repaid the faith shown in him by the Scot with two goals – including one in the 3-0 success against Southend United at the Stadium of Light on Saturday – and two assists in 14 League One appearances from the middle of the park to help the club to third in the standings.
Despite his success his current deal actually runs out at the end of the current campaign, but Donald has confirmed that he is on course to trigger a one-year extension to ensure that he will be with them whichever division they find themselves in next season.
Speaking to the Roker Rapport podcast, Donald said: “George Honeyman, if he plays an X amount of games gets an extra year, so I think George is here for next year anyway.”
They certainly will be.
While he struggled to make an impact for them as a youngster when the club was in the Premier League, he has become an influential figure on and off the pitch and a real fans’ favourite over the course of the past 12 months or so.
To take the armband off of the experienced Lee Cattermole is certainly no mean feat, but it shows the trust that Ross has in him and supporters won’t want to lose a player that clearly cares about the club anytime soon given their recent history.
If he and the team continue to play as well as they have in the first few months of this season for the remainder of the campaign, he will likely lead the Black Cats back to the Championship in 2019 anyway.