Belfast Telegraph

Conor McLaughlin eyes promotion after joining 'massive club' Sunderland

 

Conor McLaughlin
Conor McLaughlin

By Lewis Samuel

Northern Ireland full-back Conor McLaughlin believes he can make a quick return to the Championship after signing for League One giants Sunderland.

The 27-year-old from Belfast moves to the Stadium of Light having been released by Millwall at the end of last season.

McLaughlin spent two years at the Championship club, making 32 appearances, and is determined to play a major role in the Black Cats' promotion push next season.

"It's a massive club that deserves to be playing much higher up the divisions and I will be doing all I can to help Sunderland get there," said McLaughlin, capped 34 times.

"I was massively impressed by the facilities at Sunderland, not many clubs have access to this and obviously I've been aware of Sunderland over the years when they were in the Premier League for a long time. It's a massive club and I'm delighted to get the chance to come here."

McLaughlin, who was in Michael O'Neill's squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Estonia and Belarus last month, has agreed a two-year deal and joins fellow Northern Ireland internationals Tom Flanagan and Will Grigg on Wearside.

McLaughlin has already performed 132 times in League One having played for Fleetwood Town between 2012-2017.

He is Jack Ross' first signing of the summer as the Sunderland manager looks to strengthen his squad for another assault on promotion from League One. Sunderland lost out to Charlton in the play-off final in May.

Ross said: "Conor brings quality and experience to a position that was of high priority for us to have options in. I look forward to working with him over the course of the season."

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