Ex-Sunderland midfielder tipped to make Premier League move

Former Sunderland midfielder Paddy McNair has been tipped to seal a return to the Premier League after impressing on international duty.

Ex-Sunderland midfielder Paddy McNair
Ex-Sunderland midfielder Paddy McNair

McNair netted twice in Northern Ireland’s 3-2 win over the Czech Republic on Monday, October 14 as he continued to build on a strong start to the domestic season with Middlesbrough.

And Michael O’Neill believes the midfielder – who was part of the Sunderland side relegated from the Championship in 2018 – has the potential to shine in the top flight after leaving some troublesome injuries behind him.

“He’s still a relatively young player, and he is possibly now where he should have been two years ago if it wasn't for injury,” he said.

“He had a serious injury at Sunderland and it took him longer to get back then possibly he would have liked.

“He’s had a difficult season last season at Middlesbrough, where he wasn’t an automatic player, but this season that has changed. His club situation has changed and we’re seeing the benefit of that.

“I think we played a bit part in the turnaround of his fortunes at club level because he was still an important player for us, but I’m delighted because he's a great boy, a great athletic player, a top player.

“When you look at what is required now to play at the highest level, whether it be the Premier League or international football, Paddy has all the attributes to do that.”