Sunderland midfielder Meyler: McClean success no surprise to me
McClean began the campaign in the second string after making a summer move from Derry for just £350,000.
"James has done terrifically well and was unfortunate not to play earlier in the season," Meyler told safc.com.
"The manager gave him his chance [in December] and he hasn't looked back since.
"Before he played in the first team James had done so well with the reserves.
"I remember going to watch them a few times when he was playing, and I played alongside him a few times while I was coming back from injury.
"To be honest I'm not surprised one bit how well he's done."