Phil Parkinson reacts as Sunderland see defender put pen to paper

Tom Flanagan says he has ‘unfinished business’ at Sunderland after signing a new two-year deal.

The Black Cats defender saw his previous deal expire at the end of June and while a number of first-team players were released ahead of a third campaign in League One, manager Phil Parkinson was eager to keep the Northern Ireland international.

Flanagan established himself as the first-choice option on the left of Parkinson’s back three during an upturn of form at the beginning of 2020.

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The 28-year-old says he will be ‘raring to go’ when training resumes.

Tom Flanagan has signed a new deal at Sunderland

That is likely to be sooner rather than later after the EFL announced earlier today that the new League One campaign will begin on September 12th.

“It’s been an uncertain time in every sense, so it’s good to have it signed and sealed, and I’ll be raring to go once we return to training,” Flanagan said.

“I get on really well with the manager and I like his management style, so I’m really looking forward to the next two years. There is definitely unfinished business for me at the club, so I can’t wait to be back.”

Parkinson said he was ‘really pleased’ to secure a new deal for Flanagan, who he described as an ‘excellent professional’.

"I’m really pleased that we’ve agreed a new deal with Tom,” he said.

"He’s a good character and an excellent professional, and we are all looking forward to working with him again during the upcoming season.”

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Sunderland are hoping to further strengthen their defence, with former loanee Bailey Wright top of Parkinson’s shortlist.