The Fleetwood player Sunderland considered signing in January as Antoine Semenyo makes a big impression on Phil Parkinson

Sunderland will face one of their potential January additions on Tuesday night, with Phil Parkinson confirming they had considered a move for Swansea City winger Barrie McKay.

Tuesday, 25th February 2020, 8:00 am

McKay joined Joey Barton’s Fleetwood Town on deadline day and has since becoming a regular in his in-form side.

Barton claimed at the time they had ‘put one across’ the Black Cats in securing his signature.

Parkinson admits he was interested in a ‘very talented player’, but earlier that day had concluded a deal to bring in his long-term target, Antoine Semenyo, from Bristol City.

Sign up to our Sunderland AFC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Sunderland forward Antoine Semenyo

The deal for Semenyo had been all but done before the January window, but was held up when Bristol City were rocked by Arsenal’s decision not to loan out Eddie Nketiah.

Semenyo has found it difficult to break into the side, with Lynden Gooch and Chris Maguire both in exceptional form.

Fans have been impressed with his brief cameos, however, and the forward almost registered a superb assist in the closing stages of the 3-0 win over Bristol Rovers on Saturday.

“Barrie was one of a number we spoke to, but we had Goochy, Chris, Dunc and then Antoine,” Parkinson said.

“Barrie’s a good player, a very talented player, but with Antoine the fans have already seen that he gives us something that bit different with his power and pace.”

Parkinson expects Semenyo to have a key role between now and the end of the season, having been impressed with the way he has responded in training and took on the messages for the manager and his backroom staff.

“What I like about Ant is that we’ve worked with him on the training pitch and he’s picked things up really well in terms of how we play and that system,” Parkinson said.

“You can never be quite sure, obviously we do our homework on people’s character and football intelligence, but I’m seeing him making the runs all the time that we want him to, getting into the areas where he can be dangerous.

“We’ve seen that even in the cameos he’s had but we also see it in training when we do 11-v-11.”