Younes Kaboul put in a dominant performance as Sunderland beat Everton to seal their Premier League survival for another year.
He helped the Black Cats keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 win and was immense alongside defensive partner and goalscorer Lamine Kone.
The Frenchman signed from Tottenham Hotspur last summer where he barely played over the previous two seasons, due to a comination of injury and falling down the pecking order.
When he made his Sunderland debut back in August he performed poorly, and looked like a player feeling the effects of injuries, lacking sharpness, and confidence.
As Sunderland struggled, his individual errors were harshly scrutinised by pundits and it was looking like Tottenham had made a steal in taking £3 million for the defender.
Since Sam Allardyce's appointment he has begun to steadily improve, and with Kone signed mid-season, the pair have struck up an impressive partnership which is physically imposing and now believes in themselves, especially in Kaboul's case, helped by the defensive shields of Yann M'Vila and Jan Kirchhoff in midfield.
Kaboul was emotional on the pitch after the game, having completed an outstanding turnaround on a personal level as well as collectively.
He kept Romelu Lukaku quiet last night, making 11 clearances and winning three tackles, also making six interceptions.
|Passing Accuracy||Interception Won||Effective Clearance||Duel Won||Won Tackle||Aerial Won||Ball Recovery||Dispossessed||Mins Played|
Here is a look at how fans reacted to his performance...
Kaboul crying at full time, absolute hero! Man of the match for me tonight he had Lukaku in his back pocket all game!— Craig (@safc_cai) May 11, 2016
I don't use the word awesome loosely but Kaboul was awesome tonight— jane moran (@janey1000) May 11, 2016
Younès Kaboul for Ballon d'Or— Logan Laidlaw (@LoganLaidlaw1) May 11, 2016
All the lads played their part tonight but Kaboul was motm for me was a monster at centreback he won everything— Steven (@PawleySteven) May 11, 2016
Honestly think Younes Kaboul's display tonight is the greatest performance I've ever seen from anyone. Absolute colossus.— David. (@SAFCDavid) May 11, 2016
Kaboul is the best defender in the league— Very Happy Paul (@YounesKapaul) May 11, 2016
Kone was fantastic tonight, M'Villa never stopped closing down but I thought that was the best defensive performance I've seen by Kaboul— Anderson (@AMarky12) May 11, 2016
Would love to see Sam Allardyce manage Real Madrid. If he can turn around a side with Younes Kaboul just imagine what he could do with CR7— Joe Sheard (@joesheard) May 11, 2016
Remember Kaboul at Bournemouth in August? We looked awful relegation fodder. He was abysmal. Tonight? We looked solid. He looked immense.— James Earl (@jamesdearl) May 11, 2016