Didier Ndong makes shocking Sunderland confessions in revealing interview
Didier Ndong has opened up on his time at Sunderland - and has made some surprising revelations.
The midfielder, who remains the club's record signing, has agreed a deal to join Ligue 1 basement Guingamp alongside fellow former Black Cat Papy Djilobodji.
And while Ndong's transfer to the club is still to be officially authorised, he was unveiled to the press yesterday - with his time at Sunderland placed under the microscope.
The 24-year-old saw his contract terminated on Wearside in October, with an agreement in place that his new employers will pay a fee in the region of £3.5million to Sunderland.
In a set of confessions which are likely to shock Sunderland fans, the Gabon international revealed that he was 'forced' to leave Lorient for Sunderland in 2016 as his former club needed the money, while he also admits that he 'lacked professionalism' during his time at the Stadium of Light.
READ: Jack Ross and Lynden Gooch reveal why Charlie Wyke is so importantWhile he partly blames the latter on poor communication, the midfielder was open and honest about his own shortcomings during his time on Wearside.
"I spent eighteen months in Lorient, I came from Tunisia and I think that my adaptation to France was not over when I left," he admitted.
"My transfer to Sunderland was not really my will. Loïc Féry [the president at Lorient], who is a president who also loved me, was forced to sell me because Lorient needed money at that time.
"My first season went well in England. In terms of the game, there was no problem.
"But there was a lack of language and the absence of my family, all that hurt me.
MORE: Jonny Williams looking forward to reunion with 'lovely club' Sunderland"I also did not understand the good behaviour to have in Europe. I had some delays, I lacked professionalism. There are many things that I did not master.
"At one point in the season, the club was not doing well - it went down two times in a row - and it started chattering around me.
"I missed something. I was not undisciplined but there are too many things that I did not master.
"There was also poor communication. It cost me dear."
Sunderland fans' frustrations towards Ndong were elevated in the summer when he refused to return to pre-season training at the Academy of Light in order to try and force through and exit.
READ: Josh Maja and Sunderland's options explored as contract impasse continuesAnd the midfielder how he spent the summer months in a state of 'self-criticism' as he aimed to relaunch his career.
"I trained in London, also in my academy in Libreville in Gabon to stay on course," he told French outlet Le Telegramme."I also did little bits in Paris where I found a physical trainer. I think I did not lose everything.
"I took the opportunity to make my self-criticism, there was questioning.
MORE: Elliott Dickman's powerful message to his Sunderland youngsters after Newcastle defeat"Now, I know that a career can switch at any time.
"I probably needed to go through that. I also thank God for that.
"If it had happened to me at 30, I do not think I would be in Guingamp today."
"I hope that within three or four weeks, I will at least be able to claim a place in the group.