The incredible stat that shows why it would be madness for Sunderland to lose Jon McLaughlin this summer
‘Madness to let him go’.
Just one of the dozens of responses to a tweet posted by Sunderland AFC at the weekend, highlighting the incredible form of goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin.
The tweet read: “Jon McLaughlin has conceded just two goals in his last eight games, keeping seven clean sheets in that time.
“No team in the top four tiers of English football has recorded more so far in 2020.”
That includes Liverpool, who are storming away with the Premier League title.
McLaughlin is, of course, just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to the improved form and results under Phil Parkinson.
Improved fitness levels, a settled side, an effective system that gets the best out of Sunderland defensively and offensively, the form of the backline especially Jordan Willis, Tom Flanagan and Bailey Wright – before he picked up an ankle ligament injury – and the stunning recent form of Chris Maguire and Lynden Gooch.
Not to mention the improved midfield duo Max Power and George Dobson, who are keeping Josh Scowen out.
Plenty of factors make-up Sunderland’s turnaround, which has seen them lose just once in 13 games and record three wins and three clean sheets on the spin following the Portsmouth defeat.
And having a solid, reliable and safe pair of hands in goal has also been key.
McLaughlin has bounced back superbly from an indifferent start to the campaign.
As has been well documented, his contract runs out this summer.
McLaughlin is the best goalkeeper in the division. He could also play at a higher level.
It is imperative Sunderland tie him down to a new contract in the coming months.
The uncertainty over the future ownership of the club won’t help when it comes to contract negotiations but it must be seen as a priority to tie McLaughlin down.
Phil Parkinson spoke last week of his determination to keep hold of McLaughlin with Stewart Donald and Richard Hill the men responsible for contract talks at the Stadium of Light.
After all, given how impressive McLaughlin has been since arriving two summers ago, it would be madness to let the Scotland international go.