So Demel is heading for the African Cup of Nations in the new year - if he is fit! We are already badly exposed in the full back positions - McCartney is a McCarthorse, O'Brien is an O'Blimey, Potts is only just off the potty and Spence is an ex-spence-sieve selection against Prem opposition - so the loss of Demel confirms the urgent need to recruit quality alternatives in January.
But the full back positions don't seem to excite Sullivan. He has been happy to splash the cash for attacking players, but he seems to think that any old nag can fill in at full back.
Look at the players who have filled these two critical positions over the last three seasons: Spector, Faubert, Behrami, Daprela, McCartney, Spence, O'Brien, Reid (out of position and half cooked), Tomkins (out of position and half paced), da Costa (out of position and out of his depth), Upson (out of position and out of interest), Gabbidon (out of position and out for the count), Ben Haim (out of position and out of foreskin), Bridge (out of span), Ilunga (in contract so couldn't be arsed), Jacobsen (a hero in the Euros to be fair!), McNaughton (get him out of here!), Potts (not yet out of nappies), J- Lloyd Samuel (out of a club), Matt Taylor (out of position and out of brain cells when we played Southampton) and Demel.
That is 21 players filling two positions in under three years! And when you consider the importance of having a "settled back four", that is bloody crazy! Why so many? Because none of them have been up to the job, Demel apart.
How many points have we lost because of inept full backs? Faubert and Spector seemed to cost us a goal every game. Reid was murdered at Villa. Tomkins was all over the place at Wigan. Remember Bridge's debut against Arsenal? McNaughton saw red against Aldershot...and so it goes on.
A team is only as strong as its weakest link and for years now, we have been cruelly exposed down our flanks. It's time for the club to wake up. There must be decent defenders out there somewhere with a turn of pace; and with Demel's fitness record and his African Cup of Nations commitment, it is time to prioritise both the right back and left back positions.