Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has expressed his delight on the return of Lyndon Gooch to the Black Cats’ squad.
The 24-year-old missed the last four League One games after suffering a broken foot, and made his return in a 45-minute cameo during his side’s 1-1 draw against Wimbledon on Tuesday.
During the current campaign, the former United States international has scored two goals and provided four assists in 13 appearances this season, with Max Power being the only player to match that record from the same amount of games (Whoscored).
Speaking with Football Insider, Phillips believes it will be a seismic psychological lift for Johnson and his players.
“It was a big game for him,” he said. “It is always good to get players back at this stage of the season because if they perform well it might sway a manager’s thinking just before the transfer window.
“Lee Johnson has got someone coming back who we know is a fantastic player. It is good to get him back and with more game time he will get stronger.
“He can get loads of training under his belt now with the break. Hopefully, he will be at 100 per cent by the time they convene on the 29th.
“It will be like having a new signing again. He will be fresh and ready to go which is a huge boost.”
Transfer Tavern Verdict
Phillips is right. Lee Johnson will be delighted to have Gooch back in the side and will now be able to spend some quality time with him on the training pitch, due to the Black Cats’ next three games all being postponed after a Covid outbreak at the club.
Sunderland were unbeaten in their last three games before their season was interrupted, and having a player like Gooch back in the team will be a huge boost to his teammates.
Time will tell whether the American midfielder will make the difference to their promotion push, with the team currently sitting ninth in the League One standings.
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