James McClean has spoken of his delight at signing a three-year contract extension with Sunderland.
McClean is now contracted to the club until the summer of 2015 having been rewarded for his impressive form with the club since his first team Premier League debut in January. McClean signed for Sunderland from Derry City for €350,000 back in August. He has scored three times and contributed four assists from 13 Premier League appearances since making his that debut on New Year’s Day.
Having left Derry City back in August; McClean is a further indication that players coming from the League of Ireland can make it at the highest level of the game and that going over to England as a 15 or 16 year-old is no longer necessary for top Irish players. McClean has joined a number of Irish international stars; including Kevin Doyle, who have been passed their 22nd birthday before they crossed the water to English clubs.
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill speaking on McClean’s contract extension stated: “I’m absolutely delighted that James has committed himself to the club. He’s had an explosive start to his career here at Sunderland and long may it continue.” McClean’s progress has been so explosive that he has famously made himself a late possibility for inclusion in the Republic of Ireland’s squad for Euro 2012 in Poland.
McClean tweeted “Delighted to have signed a new contract :)! ”