Sunderland needed to rein in their expenses following their relegation from the Premier League in 2017 and Rodwell was one of their highest-paid players in the squad.

 

The Black Cats wanted to terminate his contract but they failed to come to an agreement with the player and he felt that he was treated like a pariah at the Stadium of Light.

 

 

He was made to train away from the first-team squad, but only left in 2018 on a free transfer.

 

Rodwell stressed that he was looking after the financial security of his family during a tough phase of his career.

 

 

He indicated that he might have done something else had Sunderland been more conciliatory in their approach, but the midfielder felt disrespect at the way the club went about their business.

 

“You can’t win”, Rodwell told The Athletic.

 

 

“You work your whole life — I was at Everton from seven years old — and you make sacrifices; you don’t go out, you don’t see your mates, you don’t go out at the weekend.

 

“You train hard to get to a point to financially support your family.

 

“I don’t want my little boy to struggle. I don’t want my parents to struggle.

 

“Then for someone to say, ‘No, throw it all away’ you know, it’s hard.

 

“There were other players on big money as well.

 

“But not only that, if they’d gone about it in the right way, if they’d treated me well, then you know…but to do what they did, then ask me to just forget my deal and go.

 

“It was a kick in the teeth.”

 

Rodwell left in the summer of 2018 to join Blackburn Rovers and is currently in Australia with A-League side Western Sydney.