An update has emerged on Sunderland forward Aiden O’Brien, regarding his failed deadline day transfer.
According to the Doncaster Press, via the Sunderland Echo, a deadline day loan move for Aiden O’Brien to join Doncaster fell through at the last hurdle after the Black Cats issued the player the wrong form to sign.
The report claims that time had run out for the move to be completed by the time the error was corrected, which meant that O’Brien ended up staying at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland have managed to inadvertently avoid a key deadline day howler by failing to get the move for O’Brien over the line. It would have been a disaster to send the attacker out on a temporary deal after also allowing Will Grigg to join Rotherham on loan, as it would have left Lee Johnson with little in the way of depth at the top end of the pitch.
Nathan Broadhead and Ross Stewart would have been left to carry the load up front, whilst it would have also left Aiden McGeady as the only recognised left-winger. O’Brien is comfortable playing on the left or through the middle, which makes him a valuable asset to the Black Cats as he can cover in more than one position.
Earlier this season, Johnson heaped praise on the forward and lauded him as both ‘versatile’ and ‘dangerous’. The Sunderland boss said:
“Briz [O’Brien] is quite a versatile player, to be fair.
“He thinks he is a number nine at times, I probably think he is a nine-and-a-half or an 11 cutting in from the left.
“When I came up against him at Millwall, I always found his running power dangerous and difficult to deal with from the left.
“He is the kind of player who could play in two or three positions for us. He has that ability to float inside the pitch, and he is a good footballer – you can trust him with the ball.”
O’Brien has started both of Sunderland’s League Cup matches this season and racked up four goals, averaging a WhoScored rating of 8.20. This, along with Johnson’s comments, suggest that he has the quality to make an impact for the club this season – whether that be in cup runs or as competition in League One.
Therefore, they could have had a disaster moment if they completed the deal to send him out on loan to another team in the division, as they would have ridded themselves of his talents. Fans will surely be relieved that the paperwork error saved Kristjaan Speakman and his team from what could have been a damaging transfer.