You’ll no doubt remember Sunderland, who’ve suffered successive relegations and are competing for promotion to the Championship this season.
Their 10-year stay in the Premier League ended two seasons ago, when players like Papy Djilobodji and Didier Ndong were unable to help David Moyes stave off a Bottom Three finish.
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Neither spent the Championship season at Sunderland, with Djilobodji heading to Dijon and N’Dong to Watford, so it was safe to say they wouldn’t be angling to put on the red-and-white striped shirts in League One.
Narrator: They did not.
N’Dong is literally AWOL and Djilobodji’s efforts at performing under contract have amounted to showing up to the Stadium of Light overweight and speaking poorly of his odds of hanging out around town during his life on Earth.
“Didier Ndong has shown no interest in returning to the football club whatsoever, we don’t even know where he is. Papy has returned but in his last conversation [before coming back] he said: ‘You’ll never see me in Sunderland again’.”
New Sunderland chairman Stewart Donald claims he’s better fit to put in a performance than Djilobodji, and says the club is fining them and perhaps suing them for damaging their value.
The Black Cats are one of five unbeaten clubs in League One, four points behind leaders Peterborough. American midfielder Lynden Gooch‘s four assists lead the team.
Sunderland have made their first signing of what is expected to be a busy Transfer Deadline Day at the Stadium of Light.
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Gabon international midfielder Didier Ndong has signed for a club-record fee of $17.8 million and has a five-year contract at Sunderland.
The 22-year-old defensive midfielder joins the Black Cats from Ligue 1 side Lorient and David Moyes could add as many as five new players on Deadline Day.
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Speaking to Sunderland’s website Ndong revealed his delighted at moving to the Premier League.
“It will be an honor to wear the Sunderland shirt and I will wear it with a true understanding of what it means,” Ndong said. “I am excited to meet everyone at the club, to see the stadium and of course the fans. Today is the most beautiful day of my life.”
Ndong will add to an injury-hit Sunderland midfield and it could free up U.S. U-20 international Lynden Gooch to play in a more attacking central role.
Moyes will be hoping he can add some more defenders between now and the summer transfer window shutting at 6 p.m. ET today, with rumors persisting that Lamine Kone could be on his way out.