Former Chelsea defender sacked for ‘comprehensively’ failing fitness test

Former Chelsea centre-back Papy Djilobodji has been sacked, after he ‘comprehensively failed’ a fitness test at Sunderland.

The Senegalese defender played less than 10 minutes of first team football for the Blues after joining from Nantes in 2015, coming on as an 89th minute substitute in a 4-1 win against Walsall.

He didn’t appear in the Premier League for the club and went out on loan to Werder Bremen at the start of 2016, before securing a permanent transfer to Sunderland. After being relegated with the Black Cats, he spent last season on loan at Dijon.

Upon his return he told Sunderland he was desperate to leave following their relegation to League One, but he was unable to find a club who would take him on.

And after returning to the Stadium of Light a month later than expected, he then failed a standard fitness test and the club have now taken the decision to sack him.

A statement read: ‘Sunderland AFC has given notice under its contract with Papy Djilobodji. Djilobodji, who was under contract to SAFC until June 2020, indicated in June 2018 that he wished to leave the club. ‘In order to facilitate that desire, the club entered into a written agreement with the player allowing him to spend the month of July on voluntary unpaid leave.

‘When that period came to an end, the player was expected either to leave for a new club – having reached a deal satisfactory to himself and SAFC – or to return in shape to play professional football.

‘Instead, he returned to Sunderland over a month later, in the first week of September, ignoring written requests for his return. On his return, he was subjected to the same fitness test that his fellow professionals had undertaken on their return. He comprehensively failed that test.

‘As a result, Sunderland AFC can confirm that it has accepted Papy Djilobodji’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player.’

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