Firstly, I have no issue with Kaboul himself wanting to be near his family. I’m not saying anything new here, but family does always come as a priority over football. Not to mention his excellent partnership with Kone was a big reason why we stayed up at the end of last season.
Whilst there were worries over his injury record, we knew there was a player in there and he certainly showcased that. For that, I’m grateful for his contribution to Sunderland and he leaves with my best wishes, except when he plays against us of course.
But for the club, this has been the latest installment in a series of disasters that has plagued us all summer.
While I don’t have a problem with why Kaboul left I do have an issue with the timing of it.
I’m also disappointed at the rumoured transfer fee, around £3.5m, which if true, I think is stupid. Given his performances in 2016 for me we should’ve demanded at least £6-7m but I guess the priority was to allow Kaboul to leave quickly.
Personally, I’d have liked to see Kaboul play against Middlesbrough on Sunday for one last time for us and then move down South. After Boro, we’d have a League Cup game which probably academy or reserve players would probably play anyway but we’d have six days before the Southampton game, meaning we’d have more time to fill that position.
According to David Moyes, Papy Djilobodji was Kaboul’s replacement which does concern me. Not because I think Djilobodji is a bad player - I actually think he’ll be good for Sunderland - but because we now only have three senior centre-backs at the club.
Djilobodji should’ve been signed to compete with the players already there, not replace them and I’m massively concerned now at the lack of cover we have. It worries me all over the pitch but in defence, it’s nothing short of terrifying.
So now we need at least one or two more central defenders, a right-back, a central midfielder or two, possibly a winger and a striker. As much as I’d like us to get all of that, I doubt that’ll happen realistically.
Speaking of positions, Kone has apparently ‘refused’ a new contract offer from Sunderland.
I’ll keep this short – if he has refused that offer himself then I’m simply disappointed in him. We gave him a shot at the Premier League not to mention he built up a good relationship with supporters and if his head has been turned, then it seems to me like he’s prepared to throw all of that away.
I wouldn’t be surprised if his agent refused it on his behalf as Kone apparently didn’t know anything about the transfer request he reportedly handed in last week. I’m probably saying what others are already thinking, but there’s definitely something hidden in this whole thing that we don’t know about.
Lets hope this is the end of Sunderland moving on better players in this window - we're under-equipped as it is, and strengthening needs to become our only priority. Risking going backwards just isn't an option.