Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson reveals why he wanted to sign Aiden O'Brien

Phil Parkinson says Aiden O’Brien’s versatility will be key for Sunderland next season.
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The Irish international has signed a two-year deal to become the club’s first summer signing.

The versatile forward can play anywhere across the front line as has been a popular figure at The Den, where he scored 44 goals in 226 appearances over a ten-year period.

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He was released following the expiration of his contract a week ago and Sunderland have moved quickly.

Sunderland have made Aiden O'Brien their first summer signingSunderland have made Aiden O'Brien their first summer signing
Sunderland have made Aiden O'Brien their first summer signing

O'Brien scored four goals in 21 appearances across all competitions last season, operating primarily as a left winger.

He also scored 23 goals in two League One campaigns as Millwall fought their way back to the Championship in the 2016/17 campaign.

Parkinson says that experience will be key as he bids to plot a promotion push in the upcoming campaign.

"I’m really pleased with the signing of Aiden,” he said.

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"He’s at a good age, he has experience of winning this division and he has played plenty of Championship football.

"Aiden can also play in a variety of attacking roles, which I feel is important for us. We are delighted to welcome him to the club and we are looking forward to working with him.”

It is set to be a busy period of recruitment for Sunderland ahead of the new season, which is scheduled to begin on September 12th.

O'Brien also has four caps, and one goal, for the Republic of Ireland.

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The forward said it was a ‘terrific’ feeling to be a Sunderland player.

"This is a massive club and I just can’t wait to get going,” he said.

"I love scoring goals, it’s what I live for and hopefully I can bring plenty to the team.

"I can’t express how excited I am, and I can’t wait to show the fans and my team-mates what I’m made of.”

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Sunderland also confirmed earlier today that talented defender Brandon Taylor has agreed a new one-year deal to stay at the club.

"“The manager gave me a taste of first-team football last season, so I’ll continue to work hard and hopefully I can earn more opportunities during the upcoming campaign,” Taylor said.