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Sunderland: Phil Parkinson explains Aiden O’Brien’s squad role

Sunderland: Phil Parkinson explains Aiden O’Brien’s squad role - Sunderland News

Sunderland boss Phil Parkinson has discussed how he intends to utilise new signing Aiden O’Brien in his starting eleven.

The Wearside club have struggled over the last 12 months to find a consistent attacking group of players, seeing the likes of Will Grigg and Charlie Wyke fail to find goalscoring form.

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Both Grigg and Wyke remain at the club whilst Kyle LaffertyAntoine Semenyo and Duncan Watmore have all left and those exits prompted Parkinson to make a move for O’Brien.

O’Brien, who was released by Championship side Millwall at the end of the season, appeared 18 times in the league last term, netting three goals.

Speaking about the forward’s involvement in training and start to life at the Stadium of Light, Parkinson revealed some of his plans on how to integrate O’Brien in to his starting eleven.

Speaking to the club’s official podcast, #SAFCUnfiltered, the Black Cats boss said: “Aiden is a player who can play up top or in behind the striker.

“The system we played last season, the 3-4-3, he can play in one of those number ten roles where Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire played.

“He gives us a lot of options, he’s a versatile attacking player.

“At Millwall he played quite often on the left of a 4-4-2, but sees himself more as a striker.

“Even from that position, he always chipped in with goals and in the year they won promotion from League One he got a good tally, all from open play.

“I think he’s a player who is ready for another challenge, he’s eager for a fresh start and we’ve been really pleased with him so far in the first days [of training].”

Parkinson has plenty of ideas then for O’Brien but one thing he needs to ensure, is that his attacking players are red hot throughout the 2020/21 campaign.

Whether or not Grigg and Wyke will remain at the club remains to be seen but very little movement to sign other attacking options seems to be emerging.

What sort of impact do you think O’Brien will have this coming season for Sunderland? Let us know in the comments section below…

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Article title: Sunderland: Phil Parkinson explains Aiden O’Brien’s squad role

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