Richard Mennear: Why the new five-year deal is good news for both Lamine Kone and Sunderland

David Moyes laid down a marker with his handling of the Lamine Kone saga this summer.

Wednesday, 14th September 2016, 1:06 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 3:38 pm
Lamine Kone

The message was clear; Sunderland AFC will decide when players leave the club, not the other way round.

And Moyes deserves credit for his handling of the situation, which has overshadowed the summer but has finally been brought to an end with confirmation Kone has signed a new five-year deal.

A new and improved deal, tying him down to the club until 2021.

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Good news for Sunderland? Yes. Good news for Kone? Undoubtedly, after boosting his wages.

Fans have been quick to have their say, as you'd expect given it has dominated the summer as much as any incomings or outgoings.

Some have already moved on, others say contracts aren't worth the paper they are written on these days anyway, some are still unhappy with the way the whole situation unfolded.

Either way, it can only be good news for Moyes and Sunderland that everyone can finally move on from this saga.

As Moyes said: "Lamine is an important player for this club and I made that clear to him from the outset."

In fairness to Everton-target Kone, if, when he arrived in January, he was promised a new deal if Sunderland stayed up then he - or his representatives - had every right to pursue that.

Could it have been handled differently by his side? Absolutely.

Some of the shenanigans have left a bad taste, especially in the mouths of supporters.

A statement put out in Kone’s name claiming he wanted a move after Sunderland had failed to offer him a promised new deal – a claim rejected by the club - started it all off.

Moyes said Kone later expressed surprise over the statement.

Reporting a bad back less than 24-hours after turning down the new contract offer was another low point of the summer, causing Kone to miss two matches.

But with the ink just about dry on the new deal, it is time now to move on.

Sunderland managed to keep hold of one of their key defenders - who is worth far more in the current market than the £18million offered by Everton - and Kone got the contract he wanted.

Time for the defender to focus on his football. Meanwhile, next on the contract hit-list for Sunderland should be Jan Kirchhoff.

He is in the final year of his current deal having only signed an 18-month contract when he arrived in January.

Kirchhoff is only just back from injury but his value to the side cannot be underestimated and despite his injury concerns, other clubs will no doubt be monitoring his situation.