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Free agent McFadden handed a chance by O’Neill’s Sunderland

James McFadden has joined Sunderland on a free transfer.

The Scotland international returned to Everton last season after being released by Birmingham City, but didn’t earn a longer-term deal at Goodison Park. He has since been on the lookout for a new club, and he has signed a three-year contract at the Stadium of Light.

Black Cats manager O’Neill, who had previously tried to sign McFadden during his time as Celtic manager, is delighted to be able to add the 29-year-old forward to his squad, and has challenged him to force his way into the first team in the coming weeks.

"It gives him an opportunity. One, to get as fit as he can now, which he has been doing for quite some weeks - he feels pretty good - two, to come and join the squad and three, just to try to get into the team," revealed the former Aston Villa boss.

With just six goals to their name in the Premier League, Sunderland, along with Villa and Norwich City, are the lowest scorers in the division. Steven Fletcher, a £12million signing from Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer, has five of these, which prompted O’Neill to look in the market outside of the window for a free transfer signing.

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