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Released Portuguese goalkeeper returns to his boyhood club following nightmare Sunderland spell

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Goalkeeper Mika Domingues has found himself a new club in Portugal following his Sunderland release back in January.

U.D. Leiria (Twitter)

Former Sunderland goalkeeper Mika Domingues has returned back to the club where he started out his professional career, current Campeonato de Portugal leaders União de Leiria, following the cancellation of his contract back in January.

Mika’s Sunderland deal was due to expire at the end of June, but the decision was instead taken to tear up his contract in order to allow him to leave six months early.

Having spent two months as a free agent, Domingues was snapped up by his boyhood club on his 27th birthday, joining the third tier table toppers on a deal that runs until the end of the current season.

Mika training with his new side
U.D. Leiria (Facebook)

The former Portugal U21 international signed for Sunderland in the summer of 2016 for a fee believed to be around £1.8m - on the final day of the transfer window - in a rather controversial fashion after the deal wasn’t ratified by the authorities, something which was later resolved outside of the transfer window by FIFA in order to allow Mika to join up with David Moyes’ squad.

Prior to signing for Sunderland, Mika was a regular for Primeira Liga side Boavista and arrived on Wearside as backup for to Vito Mannone and Jordan Pickford.

Domingues poses in his new strip
U.D. Leiria

He was signed rather frantically after we had spent the entirety of Deadline Day attempt to sign anyone - literally, anyone - in order to swell our ranks before the transfer window slammed shut.

Since the Portuguese left there has been plenty of movement between the sticks in Chris Coleman’s side, and one has to ponder whether or not he’d have been given a chance had he still been at the club.

De facto first choice Robbin Ruiter badly dislocated his finger at the start of February, whilst Lee Camp and Jason Steele have been rotated often in recent weeks following some criminally bad goalkeeping from both men.

Mika poses with his new teammates after a training session last week
U.D. Leiria (Facebook)

This has led to calls for Poland U21 international Max Stryjek to be given a chance to prove his worth, perhaps hinting that had Mika still been a Sunderland player that fans might have asked whether or not he’d have been given an opportunity to show what he could do.

That said, Domingues was never seriously considered as a viable option during his stay at Sunderland and it’d be fair to suggest that the fact he’s dropped into non-league football back in his homeland shows that perhaps he just wasn’t very good.

Despite appearing on the bench on numerous occasions, Mika was never called upon to play for the first team during his stay on Wearside, only ever appearing in friendlies, for our U23s side and in the Checkatrade Trophy.