Why selling Younes Kaboul has proved to be a huge mistake for Sunderland

Younes Kaboul
Younes Kaboul
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In a season where so much has gone wrong, one of the most disappointing things for me has been the situation with Lamine Kone.

Last season, from the moment he announced himself on Wearside by wiping out Yaya Toure, he became a huge fans favourite with a string of quality performances and his physical presence, strength and power marked him out as a seriously good centre back.

He also struck up a great partnership with Younes Kaboul and they were the foundations that Sam Allardyce built his team around in a successful fight against the drop.

I will never forget the 3-0 win over Everton when safety was confirmed.

That game saw Kone claim two goals, Kaboul rampaging down the left wing and firing in shots, while they still defended brilliantly helping the team to a clean sheet.

This season, though, Kaboul was gone after one game and while Kone remained it seems his mind has been elsewhere and he hasn’t been the player he was last year.

The Everton offer back in August clearly unsettled him, but when he signed a new contract I thought he would be back to his best, but he has blown hot and cold all season.

I still think he is our best defender, when he is fully focused and it was no coincidence when Sunderland kept two clean sheets in a row against Spurs and Palace Kone was immense in both games.

However, that level of consistency just hasn’t been there this campaign for many reasons, but one thing that shouldn’t be overlooked was breaking up his partnership with Younes Kaboul, a player he gelled with so well and his departure has proved to be a huge mistake.