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Sunderland blundered with Papy Djilobodji deal

Sunderland have been guilty of surrendering plenty of money on decidedly talentless individuals, with plenty of high-profile blunders over the last decade.

However, other than the obvious candidate in Jack Rodwell, one of the most expensive has to be Papy Djilobodji.

Was Papy Djilobodji Sunderland's worst ever signing?





Signed for an initial £8m fee in 2016, the Senegalese centre-back was coming in to replace the much beloved Younes Kaboul.

He arrived with a high pedigree and had just helped Werder Bremen escape a similar relegation scrap during a successful loan spell. Hoping to complete a similar feat with the Black Cats, he made the move and signed on for a £35k-per-week deal.

Just 24 appearances and a relegation later, he was swiftly cemented as one of their worst ever signings.

Having featured just 18 times during that ill-fated season, the 33-year-old was dribbled past 0.8 times per game and only kept one clean sheet.

In total, he cost the club £9.5m during his miserable 109 weeks at the club, which ended as sourly as was expected after a loan spell with Dijon in France.

Djilobodji had dropped down the divisions with them and remained on big money, so to see him eventually sacked after reporting back for pre-season late and failing his fitness test was disappointing.

It meant that the Wearside outfit could recoup no fee for the defender who had already cost them so much, and left the owner at the time Ellis Short rather short-changed.

Sunderland journalist James Hunter outlined one of the many examples of his “awful defending” in a tweet, as his side were on the wrong end of a 4-1 drubbing to Burnley.

It was a horrendous acquisition and one that has to go down as one of the worst alongside another defender, Emmanuel Eboue.

The former Arsenal full-back suffered a similarly horrific (and short) spell at the club, signing in March 2016 before having his contract terminated by the time that same month was up.

He was, at least, brought in on a free in this instance, so the fact he did not feature once makes it easier to swallow. Like Djilobodji, he too was sacked, due to a suspension from FIFA.

The former Chelsea man was hands down the worst signing out of the pair of them, however, simply due to his hefty price tag.

He missed plenty of matches, and when he was available his performances were evidently below par. He cost them big money for their status and played a large role in their relegation. Sunderland certainly had a howler with this deal.

Article title: Sunderland blundered with Papy Djilobodji deal

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