£10m Sunderland flop in his 'prime years' makes Australia move plus details of a new SAFC book charting incredible history

Former Sunderland flop Jack Rodwell has joined A-League giants Sydney FC on a free transfer.

Rodwell was a major signing for Sunderland from Manchester City in the summer of 2014 for a free of around £10 million

But he struggled to make a consistent impact and as the club dropped into the Championship, he was the only player in the squad not to have a wage reduction written into his contract.

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It became a source of major contention when he made few appearances in the following campaign as the club were again relegated. Rodwell made just six appearances, three of which were in the EFL trophy.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 24: Jack Rodwell speaks to a team mate during an A-Leagues All Stars training session at Accor Stadium on May 24, 2022 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Sunderland offered Rodwell the chance to walk away from his contract the following January, but it was not until the next summer that he reached an agreement with Stewart Donald to end his deal early, subsequently playing for Sheffield United, Blackburn Rovers and Western Sydney Wanderers.

Now, though, Rodwell has made the move to Sydney FC with the club plying its trade in the A-League, the highest-level professional men's football league in Australia.

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"Jack's ability is unquestionable, he's played at the very highest level and he has adapted to the Australian conditions extremely well,” said head coach Steve Corica. 'I expect him to get even better this season; he is still in his peak years as a footballer and can excel in various positions.'

"It is such a great feeling to join the most successful club in the country,” said Rodwell. “I can't wait to walk out in the Sky Blue of Sydney FC for the first game against Melbourne in our amazing new home stadium.”

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SUNDERLAND THE ABSOLUTE RECORD: THE PLAYERS

Meanwhile, this coming Monday, August 22nd, is the cut-off date to have your name – or the name of someone it is a gift for – included in the huge new official Sunderland AFC book, ‘The Absolute Record: The Players.’

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The 400-page large format hardback book is an A to Z or every player to ever play a competitive first team game for Sunderland.

Author and club historian Rob Mason said: “Find out which player worked as a miner at Wearmouth Colliery where the Stadium of Light now stands.

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"Discover which international went absent from the 1936 Championship dinner, leaving behind his wife and children and was later found sleeping rough and working as a pea-picker while playing non-league football under an assumed name, and learn about the player who was presented with a monkey before kick-off at a cup-tie!”