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.
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.
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.