Things didn’t look bright for Aly Cissokho as the 2015/16 season began but he was a vital cog in the wheel by the end of it.
After returning from the pre-season tour in Portugal, Tim Sherwood sent Cissokho off on a season-long loan to Porto.
However, when Sherwood was replaced with Rémi Garde – a manager Cissokho knows well – things started to change.
With Jordan Amavi out for the rest of the campaign from November 2015 onwards, Garde opted on bringing Cissokho back from Portugal.
Even after Garde’s departure, his No.2 Eric Black – who took over first team duties – kept faith in the likeable Frenchman, who went on to make 20 appearances in claret and blue.
He had previously only played 48 minutes under Sherwood in 2014/15 too.
Cissokho came on as a sub for left-back Kieran Richardson in Sherwood's first game in charge against Stoke.
But the defender was part of a "chronic" defensive injury list that hit the manager on his arrival in the B6 hotseat.
In fact, Cissokho's only other involvement under the former Tottenham boss was as an unused sub in the 3-2 away defeat to Man City.
Cissokho began that term as first choice left-back, with Richardson operating further up the field at that time.
Cissokho's former clubs include Gueugnon, Vitoria, Porto, Valencia and Liverpool.