Sunderland’s sporting director Kristjaan Speakman has said attacker Aiden O’Brien “wanted to take” the opportunity to join Doncaster Rovers before a deal fell through.

In the latter stages of the summer transfer window, it emerged that Doncaster Rovers made an attempt to sign forward Aiden O’Brien from fellow League One side Sunderland.

However, a deal fell through in the final stages of deadline day, leaving Rovers a forward down and O’Brien at the Stadium of Light.

Now, Kristjaan Speakman, the Black Cats’ sporting director, has confirmed O’Brien wanted to make the move, only for it to fall through.

READ: Sunderland midfielder seals late loan move to EFL club

Speaking to the SAFC Unfiltered Podcast (quotes via the Doncaster Free Press),

“I don’t think Aiden was desperate to get away.

“He is someone who has played a lot of minutes for us since I’ve been here and Lee [Johnson] has been head coach. He is a valuable member of the group.

“Aiden was presented with an opportunity for a loan which he wanted to take, but unfortunately we couldn’t get that through administration-wise before the deadline.

“Unfortunately when these things happen in the final minutes and hours of the transfer window and you’ve got several different things occurring, that’s when the risk factor gets increased and the deal doesn’t get done.”

Now, after his move to the Keepmoat Stadium failed to materialise, O’Brien will be tasked with breaking into Lee Johnson’s first-team plans if he wants consistent action.

O’Brien’s season so far

The former Millwall man has managed only three substitute appearances for Sunderland in League One so far.

However, he has found game time and success in the Carabao Cup. The 27-year-old netted in their 2-1 victory over Port Vale before firing home a match-winning hat-trick in their second-round tie with Blackpool, defeating the Championship side 3-2.

Able to feature as either a left-winger or striker, there are two spots he could break into the side at. However, with Aiden McGeady holding down the starting spot on the left and Ross Stewart impressing upfront, he will have a battle on his hands for game time.