Sunderland signed the former Derry man, for a fee in the region of £300,000 and after a long spell in the reserves, McClean was eventually given a chance by Martin O’Neill; and he took it with open arms. The Irishman featured regularly for Sunderland throughout the next season, his pace, passion and work rate earned him a lot of plaudits.
So when the signing of James McClean was announced it certainly got me excited. McClean didn’t ever hit brilliant form under Coyle (but let’s be honest nobody did). Uwe Rosler explained from day one loves his wide men to be positive, attack, score goals, beat defenders and in his first press conference he mentioned both McManaman and McClean were his type of player, with a bit of work on McClean’s final ball we could have a real good winger on our hands. In the last few months, I’ve noticed a massive improvement in McClean’s performances, simply picking the right decisions at crucial times, he’s chipped in with a few goals and assists lately which is something Rosler will be very happy with. For me McClean is our best winger at the minute, loves to beat his full back and put a cross over, and his work rate is outstanding. His two goals yesterday epitomised his qualities in my opinion, the first was great movement to pull off and he finished very well, his second was again good movement again.
So, although I think every player has improved under Rosler, for me McClean is getting better and better every game, the lad has the pace, power, good left foot, with a bit of guidance and work on his final ball we’ll be seeing another great player at Wigan.