Sunderland left back George McCartney has joined Championship outfit Leeds United on a month long loan. This comes as a surprise given the lack of cover that Steve Bruce has for this position. With first team regular Kieran Richardson clearly struggling with a hamstring injury, and Anton Ferdinand being substituted in Tuesdays Carling cup defeat to West Ham with the same injury, the deal does not seem to have arrived at the right time.
The Northern Ireland defender has fallen down the pecking order at the Stadium of Light following a number of poor performances. McCartney has not shown the same quality that earned him the captain’s armband under Mick McCarthy in his first stint at the club.
Roy Keane brought McCartney back to Sunderland in what became a controversial signing. The defender was one of several players that left the Hammers under Alan Curbishly without the manager’s consent, leading to his resignation. Since his return to Wearside in 2008 for a fee of around £6.5million, the Irishman has fallen from fan favourite status to a target for the boo-boys. This is largely due to a serious lack of pace that has been lost with the injuries that the defender has acquired over his career. Thought amongst fans is that they’d rather see a midfielder or another defender played out of position before resorting to the services of McCartney.
The loan spell will be a chance for McCartney to get some first team football under his belt. Simon Grayson appears pleased to have a Premier League defender in his ranks:
“We’re delighted to welcome George. He has good experience, he strengthens the squad and gives us increased competition for places.”
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