Adam Johnson: Sunderland midfielder once billed as 'very good player with fantastic potential'

The 27-year-old started his career at Middlesbrough and also played for Manchester City

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The Independent Football

Adam Johnson has been suspended by Sunderland after being arrested on suspicion of having sex with an under age girl.

The midfielder made his professional debut at Middlesbrough having played for both Boro and Newcastle at youth level.

After making his debut in a Uefa Cup match at the age of 17 in March 2005, he made his Premier League debut six months later.

He scored his first senior goal against Bolton in the Premier League in May 2006.

To help develop his career he went out on loan spells to Leeds United and Watford, impressing so much at the latter that he was recalled early. It was in the 2008/09 season that he established himself at the Riverside, making 32 appearances, many of them starts after an injury to Stewart Downing, to whom he played understudy at Middlesbrough.

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Adam Johnson at Middlesbrough

 

Impressive displays saw him regularly linked with a host of bigger sides and on February 1 2010 he joined Manchester City on a four-and-a-half year contract. The fee was believed to be around £7m. Upon signing, then manager Roberto Mancini said: "He is a very good player with fantastic potential, and as a club we are always keen to sign British talent." Johnson said: "I want to be the best player I can possibly be and I think that is going to be the case coming to City and playing with world-class players."

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Adam Johnson at Manchester City

 

Soon after switch to Manchester City, Johnson was called up to the senior England team by then manager Fabio Capello and would make his debut in May 2010 during a World Cup warm-up match against Mexico. However, due to the match being classified as a warm-up he didn't receive a cap and he wasn't retained in the England squad that went to South Africa for that summer's World Cup.

Johnson would collect his first cap after the World Cup when he was named in the starting line-up against Hungary at Wembley. He scored the first of two international goals against Bulgaria in a Euro 2012 qualifier. He would make five appearances in qualifying for Euro 2012 but was not selected by Roy Hodgson for the squad that went to that tournament. In total he has 11 caps for the national team.

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Adam Johnson celebrates scoring for England in 2010

With huge investment in the playing staff at Manchester City, Johnson struggled to hold down a first team place - making 39 starts in the Premier League during his two-and-a-half years at the club. He managed to score 11 league goals and play a role in Manchester City winning the FA Cup in 2010/11 and the Premier League title the following year.

Johnson returned to the north-east in a £10m deal to Sunderland ahead of the 2012/13 season. Upon his signing, then Sunderland manager Martin O'Neill said: "Adding quality players to the squad has been our main aim this summer and Adam certainly fits that bill. He has terrific ability, great delivery and I'm sure he is a player who will excite the fans. I couldn't be more delighted to have him at the club."

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Adam Johnson at Sunderland in 2012

 

During his time at the Stadium of Light, Johnson has made 84 league starts and scored 17 goals. This season he's scored five times for the Black Cats.