Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji completes season-long loan move to Dijon FCO

The Senegalese centre-back returns to Ligue 1 with Dijon FCO following a torrid spell in England.

Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji completes season-long loan move to Dijon FCO
Djilobodji has failed to find his way into Simon Grayson's plans at Sunderland. (Photo: Ian Horrocks / Getty Images)

Sunderland defender Papy Djilobodji has completed a deadline day move to Ligue 1 side Dijon FCO on a season-long loan.

The 28-year-old centre-back has failed to force his way into Simon Grayson's plans on Wearside and has departed the club temporarily, although it is expected he will not play another game in a red and white shirt.

Djilobodji's departure is one that serves to free up space on The Black Cats' wage bill, with Grayson saying that he and CEO Martin Bain will "make the decision on what is best for the football club" regarding outgoings on deadline day.

Dijon happy to have acquired an experienced defender

Dijon's head of recruitment, Sébastien Larcier, told the club's official website that Djilobodji's "experience of the high level" was a key factor in the deal.

Describing the defender as a "left-footed, athletic and powerful" player, Larcier went on to say that the new signing will improve their aerial presence, which he said "sometimes fails us."

Dijon's president Olivier Delcourt admitted that acquiring the former Chelsea defender "was a priority for several weeks" and the club are "very pleased to have finalized this transfer."

Delcourt concluded by saying that Djilobodji has "undeniable qualities and will bring us his experience" as the French side look to put last season's relegation battle behind them.

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Djilobodji looking to bounce back following tough spell in England

The centre-back endured a tough spell in England with both Chelsea and Sunderland, with an £8million move to The Black Cats materialising after just one first-team appearance for The Blues.

He went on to play 18 Premier League games for Sunderland last season as they plummeted towards the Championship under the guidance of David Moyes, and was considered as expendable by new boss Grayson at the start of the new season.

Djilobodji will hope to recapture the form that saw him become a fan favourite during a loan spell with Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen in the second-half of the 2015/16 season, becoming a key player for Die Werderaner as they avoided relegation.

He also has experience of playing in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 after spending six seasons with FC Nantes, making a total of 184 appearances with nine goals to his name.

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