By Kevin Phillips

3rd Feb, 2021 | 10:30am

Sunderland Exclusive: Kevin Phillips shares strong verdict on Will Grigg exit

The Sunderland board would have been “desperate” for Will Grigg to leave before Monday night’s transfer deadline, according to Kevin Phillips.

The Stadium of Light legend, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted it was “best for all parties” that the 29-year-old left the club after a difficult spell on Wearside.

MK Dons confirmed the signing of the Northern Ireland international on loan for the remainder of the season after Football Insider exclusively revealed that the player was having a medical ahead of a move.

Grigg struggled for the Black Cats ever since his £3million arrival from Wigan in January 2019 – he scored just eight goals in 61 appearances across all competitions.

Sunderland boss Lee Johnson signed off on Grigg’s exit following the arrival of Ross County centre-forward Ross Stewart on Sunday.

When asked by Football Insider for his thoughts on Grigg’s exit from the Stadium of Light, Phillips said: “It was best for all parties that he moved on.

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“It has not worked for him at Sunderland and it happens. I backed him when he first came in because I thought he would do well but for whatever reason it just has not happened.

“I am not going to slaughter the kid. Yes, at times his work rate was not good enough but he just looked low of confidence. He looked down.

“From the board’s point of view, they would have been desperate to get him out and to free up some room on the wage bill.

“However, it would not surprise me if he goes down there and starts scoring, how many times have we seen that happen.”   

In other news, Gillingham have rejected multiple approaches from Charlton for a 25-year-old attacker.