Aiden McGeady’s Sunderland spell has been a crazy affair.
After initially signing for the club, he was on a weekly salary of around £31k-per-week. It’s hard to suggest he merited that as the club fell into League One.
Though, now on £19k-per-week, he’s more than earning his money at the Stadium of Light. Before Lee Johnson walked into the club, McGeady hadn’t played all season.
An incident where he was pictured alongside Chris Maguire at McDonald’s after a defeat in December 2019 saw him alienated from the side and transfer listed.
He signed for Charlton on loan but then returned to the north-east, again alienated by Phil Parkinson. Though, Johnson clearly recognised he still had something to give and it hasn’t taken the Irishman long to rekindle his fire.
The winger has been phenomenal in recent months, becoming the club’s chief creator. He assisted all four of Charlie Wyke’s goals in the 4-1 win over Doncaster and has ten assists in just 14 outings this term.
He has been running riot down the left-hand side but his contract expires in just a matter of months. If you told McGeady, and indeed the club’s supporters, that he’d stay beyond the summer at the beginning of the season, they’d have laughed.
Though, the reality is that he’s now one of Sunderland’s most important players again. The veteran hinted last week that he wanted to stay in the north-east and according to Kevin Phillips, he more than deserves a new deal.
He told Football Insider: “Why would you not offer him a contract? Whether they go up or not.”
Phillips continued: “It is hard to find players of McGeady’s calibre. He can create goals. It is just a question of whether he has the hunger and desire to do it week in, week out and McGeady has shown recently that he has that. He has been outstanding.”
Kyril-Louis Dreyfus finalised his takeover of the club in the last few days and he will have a whole list of priorities to address. Though, he can start his tenure at Sunderland with a bang by tying down McGeady.
No player has more assists than the 34-year-old in League One this term, and despite his age, he is still as valuable as ever.
McGeady may have lost a yard of pace but creatively, he is still magic. Dreyfus simply has to ensure that his future lies at Sunderland, not elsewhere.