Sunderland AFC winger James McClean has signed a new contract which will keep him at the Stadium of Light until summer 2015.
The 22 year-old, who arrived from League of Ireland side Derry City for an initial fee of £350,000 in August 2011, has made 19 first team appearances for the Black Cats during an impressive opening season, scoring four goals.
McClean made his Barclays Premier League debut in a dramatic 2-1 win over Blackburn Rovers in December 2011 – Martin O’Neill’s first game as Sunderland manager – and he has since earned full international honours, picking up his first cap for the Republic of Ireland during a 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic in Dublin in February.
McClean said: “I’m thrilled to be here. I’m really enjoying my football and to have earned a new contract is a dream. I’m over the moon to see my next three years with Sunderland.”
Sunderland manager O’Neill added: “I am absolutely delighted that James has committed himself to the club. He has had an explosive start to his career here at Sunderland and long may it continue.”
Derry-born McClean began his career with local side Trojans FC before coming through the youth ranks at Derry City, making his first team debut for the Candystripes in 2008 and amassing 73 league appearances.
His form for Derry City saw him selected for an ‘all-star’ Airtricity League XI for last summer’s Dublin Super Cup before Sunderland swooped for his services in August 2011.
The midfielder represented Northern Ireland at Under-21 level and has pledged his international future to the Republic of Ireland, picking up a first senior cap less than four months before the start of UEFA Euro 2012.