We have brought in two new players. First up a keeper, Jon McLaughlin. The 30-year-old free agent, who was at Hearts last season, turned down a deal at Tynecastle and has penned a two-year deal. Jack Ross said: “Jon was in Scotland last season, but he’s spent the rest of his career in England and played in successful teams in this division. He’s a really good signing for us because he will bring security and stability to that position, as well as experience to the team, and play a key role moving forward. He’s a safe pair of hands.”
McLaughlin made 145 appearances while at Bradford City, during which time the Bantams won the Sky Bet League Two play-offs and reached the 2013 EFL Cup final. In 2014 he moved to Burton Albion where he earned back-to-back promotions and was named in the PFA League One Team of the Year for 2015-16. If he catch the ball he’ll be an improvement on last season’s keepers…
Jon McLaughlin said: "It’s an absolutely massive club, it has had its hard times recently but there’s been other clubs who have had their falls but, with the example of Wolves, have got back where they belong. This is a club that stood out for me as well, that they’re getting the right people in and are looking to bounce back straight away, it was a great project to be part of. The gaffer and the club had been in contact with my agent at a fairly early stage, showing their interest and seeing what the availability might be. Over the summer while we were on holiday it started to get a more serious then in the last few days it ramped up quite quickly. This is the one that we wanted to get done. There was a lot of talk in Scotland while I was there about what he’d done, what he’d managed to achieve there with this group. That’s why this club was so keen to get him in. Hopefully I can replicate what I did up there last season as well, I’m very happy to be working with someone so highly-rated. Hopefully I can bring that experience at this level to this group, I know what it takes to be successful. You need people who’ve been there before and done it, there’s different challenges at every level."
We have also brought in striker Chris Maguire from Bury, also on a two-year deal. Maguire is another Scot, who played 150 times for Aberdeen, before moving to Derby County and then joining Sheffield Wednesday. Jack Ross said: “Chris was desperate to come here, and he will tell you this is the biggest club he’s played for. But he’s got a bit about him and as soon as he saw the stadium he said, ‘I’ll have a bit of this’. He comes with a belief in his own abilities but a desire to make the most of this opportunity, so I’m pleased he’s aboard because he has proven quality.”
Chris Maguire had this to say “I’m delighted to get it done and can’t wait to get started at such a massive club. Wednesday can’t come quick enough to get started (with pre-season training), and I’m looking forward to what’s ahead. I heard of interest a couple of weeks ago and from there it just grew. I came down last week and had a little look around the place. As soon as I had seen it I knew there was only one place I wanted to be. I met the manager last week too and spoke to him a little bit and just knew this was where I wanted to be. I’ve played for many different clubs and I’ve played in this league plenty of times before and know what it’s all about,” he continued. “A team as massive as Sunderland is shouldn’t be here, but it’s now up to myself and the other boys to get us out. It’s a massive club and one I can’t wait to play for. You only have to look at its support and all the season tickets that have been sold already. Everybody is behind the club, so it’s up to the players now to step-up and take it forward. I’d like to think I’ll bring a bit of flair to the team. I’ll be someone who gives my all for the jersey and for the club. I like to wind people up, so I hope our fans are on my side with that, and I also hope to bring goals and creativity to the team.”
In other news, Paddy McNair completed his medical and agreed personal terms today ahead of his £5m move to Middlesbrough.
Meanwhile, SAFC owner Stewart Donald has called for fans to give any new signings a chance before judging them too harshly. The club announced the capture of Chris Maguire and Jon McLaughlin and the reception has been lukewarm from some fans. Maguire, a former player at Oxford, only managed 2 goals in 24 appearances for Bury last season which saw the shakers relegated to League Two. A stat which has some fans questioning his ability at League One level. Donald defended the signing saying: "Hopefully you will give the lad a chance. I watched him for a while at Oxford and if he plays with the same level of intensity as he did for them we will have a player well worth his shirt. Lets see."
Finally, Kevin Phillips reckons that Jack Ross should hoy the kids in in League One. He said: “They’re the sort of players that you need to look at. If they can’t get in the team when they’re in League One then what chance have they got of getting in the team in the Championship or Premier League? I think it’s a good opportunity to try to use them a lot more. They’re exciting players, and they’re players that you’ve also got to try to keep at the football club. There will be big teams sniffing around them, as I’ve already read a few times in the press. It’s a great opportunity to use them. While they’re still your players, you need to nurture them, coach them and get the best out of them because if you do that they’re a good asset.”