This week saw Papy Djilobodji’s long overdue departure from Sunderland finally confirmed after he went AWOL earlier on in the season.
Put simply, Jack Ross needs players who are 100 per cent committed to the cause and being rid of all of the mercenaries left over from the Premier League era is a massive step towards that.
With Didier Ndong having left the club before Djilobodji and Lamine Kone out on loan at Strasbourg, perhaps the biggest upshot of that second successive relegation taking the club down to League One is that it finally flushed out the players who do not want to be at the Stadium of Light.
Djilobodji’s departure is symbolic from that point of view; having a squad of hungry players all in it together is the only way the Black Cats are going to get themselves promoted at the first attempt.
Not to mention that getting those high earners off the wage bill may make more funds available for Ross to reinforce his side’s promotion bid, which could make all the difference in the fight to return to the second tier.
It also helps the fans connect with the club again; those supporters who trekked all the way down to Plymouth to pack out the away end have had to put up with players not giving 100 per cent for far too long now.