Transfer Centre

Sky Sports Scout - James McClean

We run the rule over Sunderland ace James McClean

Sky Sports Scout is our exciting feature where we scour the globe looking out for the best talent and bring you a report on what we find.

Our Scout will report back and you can comment on what you think of our appraisal.

Scout Facts:

NAME: James McClean
AGE: 23 (22nd April 1989)
BORN: Derry, Northern Ireland
CLUB: Sunderland
FACTS: Switch allegiance to Republic of Ireland in 2011

Sky Sports Scout Ratings:

0-10 - No hoper
11-20 - Should look elsewhere
21-30 - Might not make it
31-40 - Has work to do
41-50 - Keep an eye on him
51-60 - Great prospect
61-70 - On his way to the top
71-80 - Already World-class

Also, in association with Football Manager, we give all readers the chance to win a copy of the latest game by nominating a player.

You can only nominate a player by emailing here, including the word 'Scout' in your subject line and please check to make sure we have not already covered the player.

Should your player get reviewed by our scout, and you were first to send in his name, then you will win a copy of Football Manager 2012.

You can also now interact with the scout via his all new Twitter feed! You can get in touch with him and interact here or just search for @skysportsscout!

Latest under our scout's gaze is Sunderland's James McClean - recommended by Sky Sports reader Alan Wai.

The scout reports...

Sunderland's Irish winger James McClean is next on the scout's radar, after making a huge impact this season.

McClean arrived in the North East last summer when Sunderland paid Derry City £350,000 for the 22-year-old.

The young winger began his footballing career with amateur side Trojans, before linking up with his first senior club Institute.

He made his debut for Institute but after just one appearance he asked to leave the club in order to move to Derry City - and as he was on amateur forms they could not stand in his way.

McClean joined the club he supported as a boy and soon made his first-team debut for the Candystripes.

During this time with Derry McClean was called-up and played for Northern Ireland's Under-21 side, a decision which would later cause some controversy later in his career as after a few months with Sunderland he switched international allegiance to Republic of Ireland.

Whilst with Derry, McClean quickly emerged as one of the brightest talents anywhere on the Emerald Isle and it was not long before a host of clubs were crossing the Irish Sea to check on McClean.

In August, Sunderland announced they had won the race to sign McClean and they paid £350,000 for his signature.

McClean was bought by Steve Bruce, but he never played under him before he was sacked as Sunderland coach - mainly due to injuries.

Indeed McClean did not get his big break until Martin O'Neill took charge, who from the moment he arrived put him in the team - and the winger has never looked back, making his first ever start on January 1st against Manchester City.

Not built like an archetypal winger, the near 6ft wide-man is strong - but has excellent agility and is deceptively agile.

Quick and full of ideas, perhaps McClean biggest asset is his directness, whilst he possesses all the weapons to go past a full-back, he is not afraid to cross the ball from anywhere - which makes him very dangerous from the moment he picks up the ball.

McClean has emerged as one of Sunderland's, the Premier League's and Ireland's best prospects.

In March it was confirmed that Sunderland had tied him down to a new long-term deal amid rumours his performances were already attracting interests glances from elsewhere in the league.

He is also now a full international with the Republic and he looks set to be included in their squad for Euro 2012.

The scout says...

Could very well be one of the players to watch in Poland and Ukraine, such an exciting player.

Will only benefit from working with Martin O'Neill at Sunderland and at 23, he has the potential to make the top.

The Scout rating...

Shooting: 7 out of 10

Passing: 8 out of 10

Tackling: 6 out of 10

Heading: 7 out of 10

Pace: 8 out of 10

Vision: 7 out of 10

Current ability: 7 out of 10

Potential ability: 10 out of 10


Current value: £5million

Potential value: £25million

Your opinion...

You have read our opinion of James McClean - now we want your views. Have you seen McClean in action? Do you agree with our assessment? Do you think he will make it?

Get in touch, either using the form below, email or the scout's Twitter feed - @skysportsscout

And if you have spotted anyone you think we should feature then please get in touch using the same form. We will look to send out the Scout to follow up your leads.