Phil Parkinson is set to become the new Sunderland manager and will be tasked with taking the Black Cats out of League One following the recent sacking of Jack Ross.
One player who the new boss will know very well is Jon McLaughlin. Sunderland’s excellent goalkeeper has been one of their star performers under Ross and previously was a regular for Parkinson during his time at Bradford City.
The Scotland international was a regular under Parky, especially in his final season at Valley Parade in 2013-14.
However, he did leave the club under something of a cloud that might give Sunderland fans cause for concern.
McLaughlin left Bradford in the summer of 2014, eventually joining Burton Albion on a free transfer. It came after protracted talks with the Bantams over a new deal. However, when former Sunderland stopper and future England number one Jordan Pickford was signed by Bradford on loan, McLaughlin knew the writing was on the wall, as he explained to the Telegraph and Argus.
“All I could go off was what the gaffer was telling me about trying to get the deal sorted and wanting me to stay and be part of it again after having a good year last season.
“Then all of a sudden it came through they have agreed to sign someone else.
“I knew they would obviously need another goalkeeper but when you get one in on loan from a Premier League club, it’s not difficult to read between the lines…
“It does leave a pretty bitter taste in the mouth, which is unfortunate after all the time I’ve spent there. Leaving on a sour note is not what I’d hoped for.”
Of course, that was a long time ago and any ill-feeling has hopefully passed.
On top of that, it is not clear just how much Parkinson was involved in the departure of McLaughlin.
It certainly sounds as though Parkinson wanted to hand him a new contract, but that deal never seemed to materialise.
Hopefully, for Sunderland, this will not prove an issue and the pair can get back to what was a very successful working relationship. Having the Scotsman happy and in form could be key to any promotion hopes Sunderland might have.