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Sunderland need to ‘sell up or sign up’ this defender in January

Sunderland’s Conor McLaughlin is out-of-contract next summer, and it leaves the club with a decision to make come January.

By that time, if a new deal at the Stadium of Light hasn’t be agreed, then McLaughlin can start talking to potential new suitors about a summer move.

But given his recent emergence into the starting line-up, it makes the decision of whether to renew McLaughlin’s contract that little nit harder.

The ex-Fleetwood Town and Millwall man joined ahead of last season. But it was a stop-start debut campaign for the Northern Irishman, who made just 15 appearances in League One.

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Now, after starting the season mostly on the bench, he’s recently broken into the first-team and looks to have his spot on lockdown.

He’s been featuring as one of Phil Parkinson’s central three defenders. In this system, McLaughlin offers an all-round defensive game and his form of late has seen him recalled into the Northern Ireland squad.

Whether or not Sunderland decide to renew his stay remains unseen though – they already have a healthy squad size and a host of players due to leave next summer.

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At 29-years-old as well, Parkinson and Sunderland may be looking for someone much younger, potentially homegrown to come in and fill that defensive void.

Another defining factor could be their promotion hopes – they might decide they need McLaughlin’s services if they’re headed for the Championship.

All he can do is keep on performing and keep solidifying his spot in the coming weeks, and give the manager and the board something to think about come January.

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