clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

In with the new: out of contract O'Shea will only stay at Sunderland if new boss gives him a game

John O'Shea is the latest Sunderland figure to suggest he will exit the Stadium of Light this summer. Has the veteran central defender simply come to the end of his Wearside shelf-life or has he another year left in him?

Arsenal v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Out of contract Sunderland captain John O'Shea wants to stay at Sunderland but has acknowledged he may need to leave the club to secure another season of first team football.

With an aim to sign off his career with an appearance at next year's World Cup, the veteran defender is assessing his options this summer.

Hull City v Sunderland - Premier League
John O'Shea
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

O'Shea has joined his fellow Sunderland long-server and end-of-deal teammate Sebastian Larsson as jockeying for position in the media as their spell on Wearside looks to be coming to an end.

Both men have had sources near to them inform the press in their home countries this week that they may exit the Stadium of Light during the summer.

According to a report in the Irish Times, a figure close to the veteran centre half has indicated O'Shea would like to remain with Sunderland but will only do so if he believes he will play enough games to make the World Cup in Russia next year.

Whether O'Shea has been offered an extension on his present deal which expires at the end of next month remains unclear. The report in the Irish newspaper indicates that four Championship clubs have already offered him a berth for the new season.

Hints on the future of the Black Cats' defender follow hot on the heels of midfielder Seb Larsson's agent indicating a few days ago that his client is likely to stay in English football for the new campaign but not necessarily with Sunderland.

The Swede's representative told the Scandinavian press that his client has received offers from China and Turkey but that he would prefer to remain in England. Whether that means Larsson is likely to stay at Sunderland remains doubtful.

Chelsea v Sunderland - Premier League
Seb Larsson
Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Both O'Shea and Larsson have played over 200 times in all competitions during their spells on Wearside. The two players were signed during Steve Bruce's tenure at the club in 2011. Since then, the pair have seen a never-ending turnover in managerial and playing personnel.

And both are aiming to make the Russian global tournament next year so first team football is high on their agendas. O'Shea remains captain for the Republic of Ireland and has made over 100 appearances for his country. Larsson has featured 88 times for Sweden but neither Sunderland man has featured in a World Cup.

The Swedes have failed to qualify since the 2006 finals and Ireland's last appearance was at the 2002 tournament in Korea and Japan.

Realistically, whether either man are really what Sunderland need in their starting eleven next term is debatable.

Whilst both O'Shea and Larsson were regulars last season under David Moyes, the rigours of Premier League football starkly exposed their dying legs in a ponderous squad as both near the twilight of their careers. Larsson is 32 next week and O'Shea turned 36 in April.

Republic of Ireland v Sweden - Group E: UEFA Euro 2016
O'Shea and Larsson faced each other at Euro 2016
Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Neither may be placed to demand first team football when Sunderland unveil a new manager in any case, though with the Black Cats set to be decimated by exits this summer, some degree of continuity in the squad may have a benefit.

So far Larsson and O'Shea have joined Jermain Defoe, Wahbi Khazri, Papy Dilobodji and Bryan Oviedo as all distinctly expressing a desire - to some extent - to depart the Stadium of Light this season.

And they're joined by the loss of loanees Jason Denayer, Javier Manquillo and Adnan Januzaj as well as the other figures out of contract which includes Victor Anichebe, Steven Pienaar, Jan Kirchhoff and Joleon Lescott.

Add to those the players almost certain to be sold - Lamine Kone, Fabio Borini and Jordan Pickford - and there will barely anyone left from the relegated Premier League squad once the Championship begins in August.

Saying that, we'll all only miss about two of them.