AIDEN McGeady’s five year stay at Sunderland has come to an end after the club announced their retained list this afternoon.

The 36-year-old has been released by the club with his contract coming to an end next month. The Black Cats have also released Lee Burge, Arbenit Xhemajli and Jordan Willis.

McGeady signed from Premier League side Everton under Simon Grayson in July 2017 for an undisclosed fee following their relegation to the Championship.

The Scotsman has been part of the side that slipped down to League One but played a starring role in the club’s promotion pushes over recent seasons featuring 150 times and scoring 36 goals. During the 2020/21 season, he produced 17 assists playing a starring role in the attack alongside Charlie Wyke.

McGeady’s recent campaign has been hampered by injury. Following 16 appearances, he has been out since November with a knee problem. McGeady managed to work his work back into contention and was in the matchday squad for two out of their three play-off games, including the final, but failed to feature.

The former Celtic and Spartak Moscow winger has become a popular figure on Wearside and will be fondly remembered for his contribution in getting the club back to Championship following Saturday’s Wembley win over Wycombe Wanderers.

Burge, who ends his three year stay on Wearside, featured 66 times for the club since his switch from Coventry City. However, the 29-year-old has had to settle for being a squad player this season with just nine appearances. Burge also suffered from heart palpitations earlier this year that ruled him out of action for a number of weeks.

Kosovan defender Xhemajli has barely featured for the Black Cats since joining the club nearly two years ago. A long term knee injury kept him out for over a year before the 24-year-old worked his way into the side this year making four appearances He played a starring role in a 3-0 win over Wigan Athletic back in March.

Willis, who has also been with Sunderland for the last three seasons, is another who has been hampered by long term injury. The 27-year-old hasn’t featured at all this season due to a knee problem he picked up during a 2-1 loss to Shrewsbury last season. He played 60 games scoring twice.

The club will also release striker Will Grigg who spent last season on loan at Rotherham United. Several other youngsters have been let go including Cieran Dunne, Jack McIntyre, Kenton Richardson, Nicky Gyimah-Bio, Patrick Almond, Sam Wilding, Stephen Wearne, Tyrese Dice, Ugonna Emenike, Vinnie Steels and Will Harris.