MODIBO DIAKITE admits the dismissal of former Sunderland boss Paolo Di Canio brought his career at the Stadium of Light to a grinding halt.
Diakite terminated the remaining two years of his Sunderland contract by mutual consent last week after it was made clear to the defender that he had no future on Wearside.
It concluded a largely disastrous spell at Sunderland for Diakite, who was signed by Di Canio on a Bosman deal last summer.
The Frenchman has subsequently penned a one-year deal at Spanish side Deportio La Coruna, despite interest from several Italian sides looking to take the former Lazio man back to Serie A.
And after being unveiled by the La Liga outfit, Diakite believes his stint in the Premier League went on a downwards spiral following Di Canio’s exit and the appointment of Gus Poyet, who had clear reservations over the 27-year-old.
Diakite said: “I left there because Di Canio told me to go with him and then came another coach who did not have the same opinion.
“The opportunity came to me to go to Deportivo and I did not have to think about it. I’m coming to a league where the game is different (to Italy and England).
“But physically, I feel good, although I maybe lack a bit of pace from not playing games.”
Di Canio had envisaged that Diakite and captain John O’Shea would be his first-choice central defensive pairing last season.
But after the Italian’s sacking, Diakite made just three Premier League appearances under Poyet – all of which came over the festive period when O’Shea and Wes Brown were absent.
He was sent on loan to Fiorentina at the end of the January transfer window, but after the Italian outfit opted against signing him permanently, there was never any prospect of a second Cats chance.
Diakite was left out of Sunderland’s pre-season trip to Portugal and wasn’t even handed a squad number before the campaign got underway.
Neither was midfielder Cabral, who remains the only member of the three Bosmans signed by De Fanti still at the Stadium of Light.
Defender Valentin Roberge followed Diakite out of the exit door on deadline day by joining French side Stade de Reims on loan. But there was no concrete interest in Cabral before the transfer deadline.