Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images

Bullying Cavani and Mbappe, Sunderland loanee Lamine Kone is back to his £18m best

This summer one of the key things Sunderland needed to do, following relegation to League One, was reduce the wagebill. One of the players that needed to go was Lamine Kone.

In 2016, Sunderland could have sold the defender to Everton for big money. After playing a starring role under Sam Allardyce at the Stadium of Light, the Toffees had a bid of £18 million rejected for the player, according to Sky Sports. Sunderland decided not to sell the Ivorian and he was handed a new lucrative contract.

However, it all went horribly downhill from there. Kone was poor in 2016-17, as Sunderland finished bottom of the Premier League. His performances in the Championship were not much better last season, as Sunderland suffered relegation to League One.

In the summer, Sunderland finally found an interested party. Ligue 1 side Strasbourg came calling. As reported by L’Equipe, the Ivorian can join the club permanently for a fixed-fee of €2 million (£1.8 million) at the end of the campaign.

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 04: Lamine Kone (L) of Sunderland celebrates scoring the opening goal with his team mates during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Sunderland at Selhurst Park on February 4, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

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Yesterday, he did plenty to impress his new employers.

After initially starting off as a substitute he has been an ever-present in the backline since October.

His impressive displays have allowed Strasbourg to move into seventh in Ligue 1. His performance against PSG earlier this month earned rave reviews. Just ask the below pictured Edinson Cavani and Kyllian Mbappe.

Paris Saint-Germain’s French forward Kylian Mbappe (L) and Paris Saint-Germain’s Uruguayan forward Edinson Cavani (R) react as they sir on the football pitch next to Strasbourg’s Ivorian defender Lamine Kone (C) looking at them during the French L1 football match between Strasbourg and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) at the Stade de la Meinau stadium, in Strasbourg, on December 5, 2018. (Photo by Patrick HERTZOG / AFP) (Photo credit should read PATRICK HERTZOG/AFP/Getty Images)

Yesterday, he went even further. Kone scored a towering header as Strasbourg defeated Nice 2-0 at home. It was his first official goal for the club. His last goal was for Sunderland, way back in February 2017 against Crystal Palace.

Sunderland fans know how good Kone can be, so his form will be no surprise. He was only valued at £18 million a couple of seasons ago.

However, he was one of many who seemed to down tools at the Stadium of Light toward the end of his Wearside career.

Good luck to him, but good riddance.

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