Sunderland continued their march towards Championship promotion with a 2-1 win away at Gillingham in League One at the weekend.
Tom Flanagan and Aiden O’Brien scored the goals for the Black Cats, with Lee Johnson’s side now sitting one point off the top of the table and with games in-hand over first and second.
However, Johnson has a decision to make heading into their clash with Crewe Alexandra on Tuesday night as Elliot Embleton was shown a straight red card against Gillingham.
This means that Sunderland must bring in another wide player to cover for him in this clash. With Irish winger Aiden McGeady returning to fitness, Johnson must unleash the ex-Celtic flyer and hand him a start as part of the front four.
If he is fit enough to play, McGeady could fill in for Embleton and provide a useful outlet out wide to help Sunderland win another game as they attempt to rise back to the top of the League One table.
The forward has proven that he can be an outstanding player in the third tier. Speaking after a game in 2019, former Sunderland boss Jack Ross hailed the “special quality” of McGeady. He told Chronicle Live:
“I thought he was bright today. He is the type of player who responds well to other players coming into the club and the challenge of proving the quality he has.
“In the first half I thought we were too short and too narrow in terms of how we made the pitch, so in the second half we widened and lengthened it a bit and that’s where the goal comes from. You had the execution of the pass from Grant [Leadbitter], but then you need that bit of special quality and Aiden has done that a lot for us this season.”
This highlights the level of ability the £19k-per-week wizard is able to provide Sunderland at this level. His statistics for the club speak for themselves; 21 goals and 24 assists in three League One campaigns in red and white. He has the magical spark required to open up a game and that is why he should replace Embleton in the team.
McGeady has proven that he can score and assist goals on a regular basis and Ross Stewart could potentially thrive on the service he is able to provide. The Scottish striker has scored seven goals in 11 games and could add to that tally by getting on the end of McGeady’s crosses.