Kevin Phillips has tipped Sunderland to table Luke O’Nien a new contract after he was named in the League One team of the season.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Stadium of Light legend heaped praise on the 26-year-old and claimed he is a key figure both on and off the field for Lee Johnson’s side.
O’Nien has been one of Sunderland’s standout performers this season, with 41 appearances across all competitions.
🌟 𝑻𝒆𝒂𝒎 𝒐𝒇 𝒕𝒉𝒆 𝑺𝒆𝒂𝒔𝒐𝒏 🌟
We've had a quartet of players named in the @SkyBetLeagueOne Team of the Season.
Well deserved, Lads!
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) April 29, 2021
The versatile defender, along with teammates Charlie Wyke, Aiden McGeady and Lee Burge, was named in the EFL’s League One team of the season.
A signing from Wycombe Wanderers in 2018, O’Nien has just two years left on his contract at the Stadium of Light.
When asked by Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs if the Englishman had played his way into a new deal, Phillips said: “O’Nien is Mr. Sunderland.
“He is so versatile and Lee Johnson can always rely on him to perform no matter what position he plays him in. He seems like a great lad in and around the dressing room as well and you need players at your football club like that. O’Nien has shown his qualities this season.
“It would not cost the world to give him a new deal so it is a no brainer for me. I’m sure there will be an offer on the table. He loves the club.
“My only worry is if Sunderland don’t go up. He might feel like he needs to play at a higher level at his age. There will be all sorts of scenarios in the summer if they don’t go up. If they do go up, I think they will definitely tie O’Nien down.”