SUNDERLAND legend Gary Bennett believes James McClean could be the new Gareth Bale if he continues his progression.
Bennett believes McClean plays like an 80s-style winger and has backed the Derry native to continue his meteoric rise at the Stadium of Light as they host strugglers Wolves today.
"People often say when you throw young lads in, they don't show any nerves and James has definitely been a real breath of fresh air," he said. "He's an old-fashioned winger and you don't see many of them about these days. With new formations being used, out-and-out wingers are rare.
"I have to go back many years to think of someone like him, but if I had to draw a modern comparison I would have to say Gareth Bale.
"Like James, Gareth likes to go down the outside and doesn't always beat a man but whips in quality balls. Teams are aware of James' threat now and hopefully he can develop, get stronger and understand the game better now."
Meanwhile, Wolves boss Terry Connor said he does not regret taking over at Molineux even though his 13-year association with the club could be about to end as his side look doomed to relegation that could also see the 49-year-old depart the club.
But Connor said: "It is kind of strange when people say your future rests on 13 games, after 13 years here, but I knew when I took over that would be the case and I welcome the challenge."