Ex-Sunderland loanee says relegation was no coincidence after his departure

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Yann M'Vila has boldly claimed that Sunderland's relegation from the Premier League was no coincidence given his exit from the club.

The 32-year-old spent a memorable season at the Black Cats, as he helped guide the side to Premier League survival during the 2015-16 campaign.

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He featured 40 times for the Wearsiders during his year in the North East, netting once, a free-kick against Aston Villa in the league. However, after Sunderland declined to take up an option to make the deal a permanent one, M’Vila left England and returned to Rubin Kazan.

The Black Cats were then relegated from the Premier League the following season under David Moyes, ending the club's ten-season stay in the top-flight of English football with M'Vila going on to play for Inter Milan, Saint-Étienne and Olympiacos.

"If out of 140 games, I play 120 starting games and the others were to rest, it means that I am important," M'Vila said, speaking to Goal. "If you do not understand you do not know football.

"Same in Manchester City games, when Kyle Walker goes into the centre line to create a surplus, people don't see it, you have to look in depth at those who do the work behind the scenes.

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"I know that I do this job and that's why the coaches make me play. That's also why I know I'm important. When I left Sunderland they went down. When I left Saint-Etienne, they came down. When I left the Rubin Kazan, they came down. I don't see it as a coincidence."