Bryan Oviedo’s Sunderland career almost ended in January, a deadline day loan move to West Bromwich Albion collapsing at the eleventh hour.
The left-back then had a series of niggly injuries which saw him out the team for two months and very much on the fringes of Jack Ross’ Sunderland side.
With Reece James cementing his place at full-back in Oviedo’s absence and promising talent Denver Hume making his return from injury, Oviedo looked to have played his final game for the club.
But an impressive cameo from the subs bench in the late win at Rochdale two weeks ago proved the catalyst for Oviedo winning his place back, the defender starting the last three games.
And he was among several star performers in the impressive 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers.
He dominated talented winger Mallik Wilks to the extent that Doncaster Rovers boss Grant McCann switched him to the opposite flank at half-time.
Oviedo is most impressive attacking and he proved a constant threat down that left flank.
Ross describes Oviedo’s quality as ‘excellent’ with the Costa Rica international now among the first names on the teamsheet heading into the final four games of the campaign, with Sunderland away to Peterborough United on Easter Monday.
Ross said: “Bryan was out of the team for a while and Denver came in and was doing well but since Bryan's substitute appearance at Rochdale he's played really, really well.
"It's more just about his quality and the level he's been at.
“The quality he provides from that side of the pitch is excellent.
“He's enjoying being back in the team and I think this type of games suits him. Long may that continue.”
Oviedo, one of the highest earners at the club having signed when the Black Cats were still in the top flight, could still leave this summer but for now he is proving a key asset for promotion-chasing Sunderland.