Sunderland were relegated from the Premier League in the 2016/17 season and the following campaign they dropped down to League One after finishing bottom of the Championship.

Lamine Kone was with the English club from January 2016 and in two-and-a-half years, the Paris-born defender has seen relegation twice, which was not easy for him to take.

Earlier in the summer, the former Lorient man was allowed to return to the Ligue 1 as Strasbourg signed him on loan with an option to get him on a permanent deal next summer.

The 29-year-old sat down for an interview with France Football and during the course of the interview, he was asked if it was ‘necessary’ to leave the Black Cats.

Kone said, “Yes, of course. Honestly, I am worth more than the D3. This would have been a regression.

“Two consecutive relegations is rare for a footballer or a club. So it’s hard to digest that. The damage is done. It’s the past. But I do not regret this passage, even if it ended badly.”

The central defender was further quizzed as to why he decided to join Strasbourg, when he had other offers, and was asked about his future beyond this season.

“A lot of things made me choose Strasbourg: coach’s words, the atmosphere of the stadium. I knew that it was playing with a ball here, the city is nice,” he added.

“There was everything. It has been a pleasure. It was an opportunity. I grabbed it. My family and I are happy to be back. For the moment, I’m on loan, we’ll see what happens at the end of the Championship.”