By Kevin Phillips

27th Jul, 2021 | 7:00am

Kevin Phillips: Sunderland must hand Wright 'new deal' after Nixon news

Bailey Wright’s experience is vital for Sunderland and he should be offered a new contract if it ends speculation linking him with an exit.

So says ex-Black Cats hitman Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about 28-year-old’s future at the Stadium of Light.

Wright, who has a year remaining on his deal, was linked with a move to Wigan Athletic by the Sun’s Alan Nixon via Twitter on 25th July.

The Australian featured 33 times for Sunderland in League One last term but missed 12 games through injury between February and April.

Quoted by the Shields Gazette on 22nd July, Sunderland boss Lee Johnson said there is “more to come” from the “warrior” defender.

Phillips pointed out that Wright’s form slipped upon his return from the treatment room but insisted he should be in Johnson’s plans for 2021-22.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

He told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs: “I think it’s difficult. He had that injury then came back and didn’t set the world alight.

“At his age, you could say it might be time to move on. But for me, you do definitely need experience.

“He was great before he got injured. So the ability is there and a good pre-season will help.

“I’d try to persuade him to stay at the club, even if that means giving him a new deal. It will be an interesting one to see what happens.

“If they can convince him to stay for another season and get him back to the form he showed before his injury, you’ve got a good solid centre-half there.”

In other news, Sunderland make approach to sign 2020-21 promotion winner.