After two embarrassing relegations in two seasons, Sunderland found themselves in the third tier of English football.
The previous two campaigns had built up to be one of the worst periods in the club’s history and things badly needed to change.
With new owners arriving in the summer, and with them a fresh outlook, the future looked teasingly bright and the appointment of Jack Ross also proved a popular one.
He instantly set about reshaping the Black Cats’ bloated squad, cutting overpaid members and bringing in shrewd signings.
This is FLW Rewind where we take a look back at a big decision made by a club, analyse the initial reaction and document what happened next.
One new arrival was centre-back Jack Baldwin who arrived after being transfer listed by Peterborough United.
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— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) July 28, 2018
Baldwin was one of 12 new arrivals but came with a few shaky reviews from Peterborough fans with regards to his habit of making costly mistakes.
Nonetheless, the Stadium of Light faithful were delighted with their latest acquisition:
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— Matt Dunn (@DunnMatt28) July 28, 2018
— emily (@emilyxfraser) July 28, 2018
Welcome aboard Jack, things shaping up nicely now, KTF
— gary raine (@GJRaineFTM) July 28, 2018
There was a bit of surprise then when on the opening day of the season against Charlton Athletic Baldwin was on the bench.
Alim Ozturk and Glen Loovens were the pair of choice but did not look fully convincing as they scraped to a 2-1 win at the Stadium of Light.
So after that, Ross threw Baldwin in from the start and has not looked back.
The 25-year-old has been tremendous at the back, forming a brilliant partnership with Tom Flanagan, keeping four clean sheets on the bounce against Shrewsbury Town, Doncaster Rovers, Southend United and Plymouth Argyle.
That solid defensive foundation has allowed the rest of the team to show their creative class, knowing they have a brilliant unit at the back.
He may have had some stick during his time with Posh, but there is no doubt that Baldwin has proved his worth in the North East.