Aiden O'Brien 'wanted to join' Doncaster Rovers says Sunderland chief
Rovers had an agreement in place to sign the striker on loan in the final hours of the transfer window, only for a paperwork error from Sunderland to scupper the deal.
While insisting O’Brien was not desperate to leave the Stadium of Light, Speakman said the 27-year-old had wanted to move to Rovers.
"I don't think Aiden was desperate to get away,” he told the SAFC Unfiltered Podcast.
"He is someone who has played a lot of minutes for us since I've been here and Lee [Johnson] has been head coach, and he is a valuable member of the group.
"Aiden was presented with an opportunity for a loan which he wanted to take, but unfortunately we couldn't get that through administration-wise before the deadline.
“Unfortunately when these things happen in the final minutes and hours of the transfer window and you’ve got several different things occuring, that’s when the risk factor gets increased and the deal doesn’t get done.
“Aiden is a player who can achieve a lot of minutes in the team and a week before he scored a hat-trick and showed everything he can do.”
Rovers believed they had secured O’Brien having agreed a deal and submitted their own paperwork ahead of the deadline.
But a mistake with the Black Cats’ paperwork pushed their final submission beyond the 11pm cut-off.
Both parties appealed the decision to reject the deal by the EFL but it was turned down.
In a report seen by the Free Press, the EFL confirmed no wrong-doing on Rovers’ part.