After clinging on to their Premier League status by the skin of their teeth during the 2015/16 season, Sunderland once again found themselves in the midst of a relegation battle.
Having lost Sam Allardyce, the saviour of their previous season, to the England national side, David Moyes was brought in in October tasked with repeating the feet.
The January transfer window rolled around and new signings were clearly needed to raise the standard of a shoddy squad.
One of their biggest problems, as with many clubs fighting relegation, was their defence and this became the priority for Moyes during the winter window.
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.
The man that Moyes pinned his hopes on was Aston Villa’s Joleon Lescott.
— Sunderland AFC (@SunderlandAFC) January 24, 2017
Having just been a part of Villa’s own relegation the season before, the former Everton and Manchester City defender was not in the good books of the fans.
When he ‘accidentally’ tweeted a picture of a sports car on Twitter on the day the club’s relegation was confirmed it led to a point of no return.
But Moyes clearly saw something in the experienced centre-back, even if the fans at the time largely disagreed…
— Francis (@Franciscooney99) January 24, 2017
Can't be worse than Djilobodji. Can he? #safc
— Jordan Ramsey (@RamseySAFC) January 24, 2017
below average player
— Mohamad Chatila (@MohamadChatila3) January 24, 2017
legs were gone in 2012. Pathetic signing. Yakubu or Hibbert will be next…
— Jonathon McInnes (@jonnymac89) January 24, 2017
In this case, the signing ended up proving nobody but Moyes wrong.
Lescott would go onto to play just 123 minutes for the Black Cats before the end of the season with a half-an-hour cameo in a bizarre 4-0 win against Crystal Palace and the full 90 minutes against Chelsea on the last day of the season, where they lost 5-1.
The goals of Jermaine Defoe were not enough to keep their top-flight status alive and the club were relegated, finishing comfortably bottom and 16 points from safety.
It was to be the defenders last season of competitive football as well, officially retiring after the back-to-back relegations proved that he was far past his best.