Sunderland have reportedly rejected a £2m bid from Brighton And Hove Albion for Paddy McNair. The 23-year-old is high on Chris Hughton’s summer wishlist and the Seagulls might return with an improved offer.
McNair moved to the Stadium Of Light in the summer of 2016 for a £5.5m transfer fee from Manchester United. The central midfielder was desperate to get out of the clutches of the Old Trafford outfit and disobeyed the intentions of Jose Mourinho to force a move out of the club.
At the time, the move looked like one which could provide dividends in the near future. The only chunk of senior involvement McNair had with United was under Louis Van Gaal and that too as a defender.
The Northern Ireland international is in no sense a defender. His best talents are better utilised on the offensive end and in creating his team’s attack. Mourinho wanted to send the player out on loan instead of a permanent switch and McNair simply disagreed.
But after two relegations, all the way from the Premier League to the League One, the former Red Devil might have to reconsider his approach towards professional football. He did get to see the pitch a fair amount of time last season, which was 19 times and a goal-tally of 5 to go along with it.
An injury to the knee kept him out for quite a bit of time but Chris Coleman still featured him in the late stages of the previous campaign. However, with the former Wales manager gone and the club to face a massive regime change, it might be best for McNair to move on from the side.
It can be said that the 23-year-old never imagined falling all the way down to the third division when he decided to quit United. Leaving a 20-time league champion has its cons and this certainly trumps all of it.
Brighton, on the other hand, have flourished in their first season back in the Premier League. Under Hughton’s coaching, the Seagulls finished 15 in the league, 7 points clear of the relegation zone.
Now the team needs to sign the right talent to help cement their place in the English top-flight. McNair certainly is accustomed to the pace of the game at the very top, having spent 5 years with Manchester United.
He will be able to replace the departing Steve Sidwell and provide backup to the likes of Pascal Gross and Davy Propper.