Will Chris Coleman pave the way for Didier Ndong's Sunderland exit?

Chris Coleman, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Sunderland played far better away at Burton Albion without Didier Ndong in central midfield.

Chris Coleman, manager of Sunderland looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Aston Villa and Sunderland at Villa Park on November 21, 2017 in Birmingham, England.

Just two games into Chris Coleman’s tenure at Sunderland, The Black Cats already have their second win of the season – and secured a first clean-sheet of the entire 2016/17 campaign to boot.

Goals inside the last ten minutes from James Vaughan and George Honeyman secured Sunderland a much-needed three points away at Burton Albion that lifts them off the bottom of the Championship table.

And with improvements already clear to see since Coleman replaced Simon Grayson at the helm - even in Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat at Aston Villa - supporters should be feeling a little more optimistic with the January transfer window rolling around.

But if the former Wales boss wants to put his own stamp on the team, then he will have to agree to a few departures, with only ten teams in Europe in more debt than Sunderland.

Didier Ndong of Sunderland and Callum Reilly of Bury in action during the Carabao Cup First Round match between Bury and Sunderland at Gigg Lane on August 10, 2017 in Bury, England.

According to The Northern Echo, The Black Cats need to sell before they can buy – and it will be interesting to see whether Coleman is willing to cash in on the club’s record signing.

Didier Ndong, who is one of those who could reportedly be sacrificed in 2018, was ruled out of the trip to Burton on Saturday with a knee injury. But it’s notable to add that Sunderland produced arguably their most impressive midfield performance of the season without the £13.7 million former Montpellier man in the starting XI.

Didier N'dong of Sunderland in action during the pre season friendly between Livingston and Sunderland at Almondvale Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Livingston, Scotland.

Ndong has been hugely underwhelming in the second tier – and his lethargic recent form was in stark contrast to the energy, passion and commendable work rate showed by Honeyman and Paddy McNair at Burton’s Pirelli Stadium.

If Sunderland can build on their much-needed win, there will be no reason for Coleman to reinstate Ndong to the starting XI – which could pave the way for his departure just over a month from now.

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