Who is Liam Kelly? The 'outstanding' midfielder Phil Parkinson is 'keen' to sign for Sunderland

Sunderland have been linked with a January move for midfielder Liam Kelly – but who is the Feyenoord man?

Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 12:50 pm

Kelly is reportedly attracting interest from a host of clubs, including the Black Cats, ahead of the winter window – and here’s everything you need to know about the talented midfielder:

Key details

Age: 24

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Feyenoord midfielder Liam Kelly is reportedly interesting Sunderland
Feyenoord midfielder Liam Kelly is reportedly interesting Sunderland

Nationality: Irish

Career history: Reading, Bath City (loan), Feyenoord

Senior appearances/goals: 112/15

What has his career been like so far?

Kelly came through the ranks at Reading and, having signed a first professional contract at the Madjeski Stadium in 2013, made his debut in 2016.

But after making his first-team bow, the midfielder didn’t look back and went on to establish himself at the heart of the Royals’ engine room.

He went on to make just shy of 100 appearances in the Championship before following manager Jaap Stam to Feyenoord in the summer.

But things haven’t worked out for Kelly in the Dutch top flight. Indeed, he has featured just once in the league since making the move to the Eredivise and is out of favour under Stam’s replacement – ex-Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat.

Kelly has also represented the Republic of Ireland at under-23 level.

What type of player is he?

Kelly brings plenty of legs to the midfield – something Sunderland are glaringly short of.

He plays a simple game but helps to drive his sides forward at any attempt.

What has been said about him?

Speaking when Kelly signed a new contract with the Royals in 2017, Director of Football Brian Tevreden said: "Liam is an outstanding player.

“He was a key part of the first team squad last season - he gave us everything and we wanted to give him something back.”

What do we know about Sunderland’s interest?

According to the Sun, Sunderland keen to offer Kelly an escape route from Holland.

They claim that Phil Parkinson is ‘keen’ to land the midfielder once the window opens – as he targets up to five new additions.

Who else is interested?

League One rivals Oxford United and MK Dons are also thought to be keen on Kelly.

Italian giants Udinese have also shown interest in the past.