Once Aiden McGeady finally hangs up his boots after a career which has so far seen him play for six different clubs, he will undoubtedly be spoken of as a player who could have achieved so much more.
And while that train of thought may be the case a couple of years down the line, he is at the moment experiencing somewhat of a renaissance having followed a not so impressive stint at Sheffield Wednesday (on loan from Everton) with a standout loan spell at Preston North End, where he finished last season with the club’s Player of the Year accolade.
Now a Sunderland player for the next three years, having sealed a move from the Toffees, the Republic of Ireland international has the opportunity to finish his career on a high by potentially helping the Black Cats to an immediate return to the top flight alongside a manager he clearly works well under, Simon Grayson.
The former Preston boss has signed the 31-year-old from his old club for the upcoming Championship season and has been effusive in his praise of the winger who has had Ireland fans tearing their hair out in frustration and tearing up with delight in equal measure over the years.
“He’s one of the most gifted players I’ve worked with and hopefully he can carry on the form he showed last year and show everyone what he can do,” Grayson told Sunderland’s official website.
The 47-year-old, who’s also recently signed Bury’s James Vaughan, went on to state just how much experience the Glasgow native brings to the club.
“He’s been an exceptional player and we managed to get him going again last year at Preston where he was an outstanding performer.
“He was recognised by the league with Player of the Month awards and he already knows a few of the lads from his Everton days.
“He has the pace to take people on and carry us up the pitch, and he’ll excite the supporters.
“Hopefully [he’s a player who will thrive playing at the SoL] because he’s done it at Celtic, Moscow and Everton in front of big crowds.”
Sunderland kick-off their first second tier campaign since the 2006/07 season with a home game against Derby County on August 4. Before that McGeady faces his old club Celtic in the Stadium of Light club’s standout pre-season friendly on July 29.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena