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Sunderland – Where is Jack Rodwell now?

Currently in their fourth successive season in League One, Sunderland are seemingly still paying for the mistakes of the last decade, with an errant transfer approach and a hire-and-fire managerial policy sparking their rapid descent down the divisions.

In their latter Premier League days, the Black Cats recruited a whole host of questionable additions in an attempt to stave off relegation, with arguably their most infamous transfer being that of a certain Jack Rodwell.

There have been many punching bags for the club’s supporters over the last few years amid all the turmoil and decline, although there has been arguably no more unpopular figure than that of the Englishman, such was the dire nature of his time at the club.

A prodigious talent during his time at Everton under David Moyes, the midfielder’s career had stalled following a high-profile switch to Manchester City in 2012, with the Southport native struggling to make the grade among the stellar crop of talent at the Etihad Stadium.

In need of a fresh start after making just 25 appearances for City in an injury-hit two-year spell, in stepped Gus Poyet to offer the youngster the chance of a revival at the Stadium of Light, with the Wearsiders securing his services on a £10m deal in the summer of 2014.

Rodwell’s Sunderland nightmare

The Uruguayan saw promise in a player who had previously made his Toffees senior debut at the age of just 16 and earned three caps for his country, although that would ultimately prove to be misguided faith as the player failed to ever truly establish himself in the side.

In truth, it couldn’t have gotten off to a worse beginning for the new arrival, who went 37 Premier League starts without his side recording a victory, eventually ending that hoodoo at the 38th time of asking with a 4-0 win over Crystal Palace in February 2017 – more than three years after joining the club.

Even that win was tainted as Rodwell was forced off in the match with injury, something which would be a familiar tale during his time with the club.

Despite continuing to hardly feature under a succession of managers as the club tumbled down into the third tier, the 6 foot 2 midfielder was still on the books until June 2018, eventually leaving on a free transfer as the club agreed to tear up his contract.

The player’s time at the club has been viewed with huge disdain as he continued to rake in a reported £70k-per-week salary despite barely featuring, with that playing its part in his signing being dubbed the worst in the club’s history by The Chronicle.

He has since spent a solitary campaign at Blackburn Rovers and 18 months at Sheffield United – where made just a single league appearance – while he now plies his trade for Australian outfit Western Sydney Wanderers.

While the 31-year-old has been a solid performer for the A-League side, with an average match rating of 7.01 so far this term, it is a sad state of affairs for a player who was once tipped to be the next Steven Gerrard by ex-Everton teammate Phil Jagielka to now be derided as a hate figure among many of the Sunderland fan base.

In other news: Advocaat had a howler on £19.8m-rated Sunderland target who “has lungs for days”

Article title: Sunderland – Where is Jack Rodwell now?

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