Lamine Kone finally suspends speculation he is looking to leave Sunderland and signs a five year contract. It's great news, but news that has already been soured somewhat by the ridiculous summer saga surrounding a move to Everton.
Don't get me wrong, Kone is a very good player. There is no doubt, particularly with Younes Kaboul's exit, that the Ivorian is our best defender - probably by a reasonable distance too. In footballing terms, it's a fantastic deal in the aftermath of Monday's home humiliation at the hands of the club he was so close to playing for. It does not, however, deter from the fact that Kone severely dampened his relationship with the red and white faithful.
He has his contract, he has his pay rise so - forgive my cynicism - I'm sure Kone won't lose sleep over the knowledge that #TeamKone is significantly less influential than it was. It became his brand almost, one which no doubt helped to leverage his bumper contract which he had originally anticipated being signed with the blue side of Merseyside. Fortunately for our defensive options, Sunderland's refreshing hard ball approach worked.
Speaking to the official site, David Moyes was clear to underline that he had never insinuated Kone was anywhere but at the forefront of his plans, despite the Ivorian's suggesting during the transfer circus.
“Lamine is an important player for this club and I made that clear to him from the outset.
Kone has not said anything on the new contract yet. When (or if) he does, I can probably paraphrase quite accurately that he will say something along the lines of he is pleased to have signed the contract and Sunderland's a great club with great fans blah blah blah.
Let's hope Kone puts in some fantastic performances to try and repair any damage done to his reputation among Sunderland fans. Then we can expect him to force another transfer next summer and hopefully this new contract means we can get even more coin for his exit.
Sunderland have not got much right this summer, but here we have done brilliantly.
Are you happy that Kone stayed? Vote below!
Are you happy that Kone stayed?