MARTIN O’NEILL says the sale of David Meyler will boost his resources in the January transfer window.
Meyler is on the verge of sealing his £1.5million switch to Hull City after the Republic of Ireland midfielder underwent a medical at the KC Stadium yesterday morning.
Sunderland boss O’Neill has been keen to bolster his midfield options this month, with the Black Cats continuing to pursue a loan switch for New York Red Bulls veteran Tim Cahill.
Reports in Turkey have also suggested Sunderland have made a £2m move for 6ft 2in Frenchman Alfred N’Diaye, currently plying his trade for Bursaspor.
And with Meyler only set to fall further down Sunderland’s pecking order and the income augmenting the Black Cats’ transfer kitty, O’Neill gave the go-ahead for the ex-Cork City man to convert his loan stint at Hull into a permanent deal.
O’Neill said: “This is an opportunity for him and it maybe also gives us some scope to use some of that money to try to go into the market ourselves.
“Initially, he went to Hull on loan to get some games in and he enjoyed it and did fine there.
“I’m sure that if David felt he could play regularly here, he would have liked to have done.
“But at this stage of his career and having come back from those two knee injuries, playing regularly is important to him.
“He is on the periphery of the Republic of Ireland team and he has got a bit of momentum going after playing games at Hull and I don’t think he wanted to lose that.”
Meyler started just once in the Premier League under O’Neill – last February’s win at Stoke City – after fighting back from two knee ligament lay-offs.
And the Sunderland boss admits Meyler is unfortunate not to have featured more prominently during his tenure.
“He might consider himself a bit unlucky because he started a game way back in February at Stoke City in pretty dreadful conditions and I thought he did fine,” added O’Neill.
“He’s a brave lad.”