When Phil Parkinson was still in charge of Sunderland, it looked as though Aiden McGeady’s time in the northeast was done and dusted.
He was alienated from the side in late 2019 and after a loan spell with Charlton, his days at Sunderland were seemingly numbered. Before December, the 34-year-old hadn’t played for the Mackems for over a year.
Thus, the arrival of Lee Johnson was a turning point. McGeady had started to train with the squad but was thrown back into the matchday squad on Johnson’s first day in the hot seat.
It’s hard to say Sunderland haven’t benefited from this either. The dazzling winger has two goals and two assists in his nine outings this term, but he saved one of his best performances of the campaign for Shrewsbury.
Previously described as “unstoppable” by Celtic boss Neil Lennon, the Irishman summed up all of those qualities on Saturday in their 1-0 win.
He was a radiant ball of energy, proving to be a constant thorn in the opposition’s defence. What typified his display, however, was a wonderful assist for Charlie Wyke’s goal.
McGeady was faced with Ro-Shaun Williams in his way but he dismantled him with sensational quick feet before bombing down the left. He got to the byline and then picked out Wyke who found the far corner with a tremendous header.
It was a goal that rolled back the years. On so many occasions we’ve seen McGeady race down the line with a piece of sparkling individual quality. It was a defiant message, one that demonstrated he still has plenty to offer to the Black Cats.
McGeady quietened in the second half but such was his display that Williams was substituted. The right wing-back committed two fouls and didn’t win a single tackle, something that only elevates how impressive Sunderland’s attacker was.
For a man who looked like he had no future at the Stadium of Light, this has been some turnaround. He stole the show from an attacking point of view on Saturday and is undoubtedly still one of the most dangerous players in the division.