Why Sunderland should make Chelsea outcast Djilobodji a top priority in January

Sunderland Gates

Sunderland were heavily linked with Papy Djilobodji over the summer.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, Chelsea defender Papy Djilobodji could be set for a swift Stamford Bridge exit after failing to make an impression with the reigning Premier League champions.

The former Nantes star joined the Blues in the summer on a four-year deal, despite boss Jose Mourinho making it abundantly clear the player wasn’t at the top of his summer wish-list.

Djilobodji has since been left out of the club’s Champions League squad and his only appearance to date has come in the League Cup victory over League One outfit Walsall.

Things are looking rather ominous for the defender and a swift January exit could be on the cards. However, an exit from the Premier League altogether doesn’t have to transpire.

Sunderland were said to be heavy favourites to sign Djilobodji in the summer, with a report in the Mirror stating that the Black Cats were frontrunners for his signature at one stage.

A move to the Stadium of Light didn’t materialise, but that doesn’t mean interest in him should be dropped entirely. His situation at Chelsea could give Sunderland a huge opportunity.

The Daily Mail state that the 26-year-old could move on loan initially and such a scenario could suit Sam Allardyce’s men further, considering their league status is very much in doubt.

Djilobodji earned rave reviews in France prior to his Chelsea switch through a number of solid performances, and it’s not as if he has turned in to a bad player overnight – he needs opportunities.

Sunderland’s defence this season has been poor, illustrated most recently in the 6-2 defeat at Everton where they were pulled out of position and bullied by the Toffees’ front two.

Djilobodji stands at 6ft 4inch, is dominant in the air and strong in the tackle. His attributes very much fall in line with an Allardyce style of play – very direct, powerful, but above all efficient.

The Black Cats have conceded 26 league goals this season, and without an improvement at the back they could find themselves down and out long before we even reach the business end of the season.

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