James McClean

Player of the Day: James McClean

by Stuart Vose

Winger in today's spotlight.

Winger James McClean rocketed from the Irish football scene to a place in the Barclays Premier League in a matter of months.

Having joined the Black Cats from Derry City in August 2011, McClean initially started out with the reserves but was soon on the path to the first team.

The arrival of Martin O'Neill as manager saw McClean brought into the senior set-up and he made a memorable debut in O'Neill's first game in charge, a 2-1 home win over Blackburn in December 2011.

Stepping off the bench with 14 minutes to go, the winger immediately went on a mazy run and swung in a super cross which electrified the Stadium of Light crowd.

He featured regularly for the remainder of the season, scoring his first goal in his fourth game - a 4-1 win at Wigan - and was quickly rewarded with an international debut for the Republic of Ireland against the Czech Republic.

McClean, who played also one game for his country at Euro 2012, also featured regularly during the 2012-13 campaign, returning a tally of five goals.

He moved on to Wigan exactly two years to the day after joining Sunderland - in August 2013 - and recently scored his first league goals for the Latics.