David Moyes says Lamine Kone must now justify his lucrative new contract by becoming a leader on the field for Sunderland.
The Black Cats had to fight hard to retain the services of the Frenchman during the summer who appeared set to move to Everton at one point after they tabled a bid of £21million for his services.
Having already allowed fellow centre-half Younes Kaboul to leave earlier in the transfer window, Sunderland resisted the temptation to sell and their persistence was rewarded this week when Kone signed a five-year contract.
The new deal is said to be worth £90,000 per week to the defender and Moyes has said it is now time Kone starts proving he is worth the terms of his extension.
“Lamine came six months ago and I was not privy to a lot of what was said,” said Moyes. “But he had a contract that was promised to him and the club was always going to uphold that.
“My feelings were that we would always do it after September 1. It’s worth it because he is a good player and we need him.
“Now he has to become a leader, a top player. His contract suggests that, so we need him to perform to a really higher level now.”