Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson has announced that Grant Leadbitter will continue as club captain for the new season.
Leadbitter began his career with the Black Cats before embarking on spells with Ipswich Town and Middlesbrough.
Returning to the Stadium of Light in January 2019, the 34-year-old made 14 League One appearances during the 2019/20 season but was handed a spell of compassionate leave in February due to personal reasons.
Now available for selection ahead of this weekend’s opening League One fixture against Bristol Rovers, the midfielder will be looking to add to his 533 career appearances.
With Parkinson looking ahead to the new season, the Sunderland boss has confirmed that Leadbitter will continue to be the club captain, whilst Max Power is team captain and Bailey Wright is vice-captain.
Speaking on the decision to keep Leadbitter as captain, Parkinson said: “Grant has returned to the group for pre-season and has been a massive plus for us.
“He has come back to the club in excellent condition and trained well, and he has also really helped the younger players within the group.
“He has the club at heart and is desperate to have an impact on the pitch, which I’m sure he will, and he will be an invaluable asset for us throughout the season.”
This piece of news comes after former Sunderland striker Kevin Phillips predicted the sort of impact Leadbitter could have on his return to action this season.
Having lost Leadbitter to compassionate leave last term, fans of the Black Cats will likely be keen to see the midfielder return.
His leadership and experience could hand Parkinson a massive boost ahead of the new season, and with the likes of Power and Wright backing him up as leaders, the club could have some good figureheads to drive a hopeful promotion charge on the pitch.
Do you think Parkinson’s captain selections are merited? Let us know your views in the comments section below…
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience