Sunderland manager David Moyes says he did not think twice about starting with unsettled defender Lamine Kone at Southampton on Saturday.
The 27-year-old Ivory Coast international; has been the subject of a bid from Everton but the Black Cats rejected the offer and are keen for him to remain at the club.
Kone duly lined up at St Mary's on Saturday, performing well as Sunderland drew 1-1 and earned their first point of the Premier League season.
Asked if he had harboured any reservations about putting Kone in the line-up, Moyes said: "No, no. If you're a player and you're here, you play.
"You've got a four-year contract, you've only served six months of it.
"So, I can't see that worrying about your contract situation should be in your head when you're only in the third game of the season.
"He's played, did what he had to do, and we'll see what materialises in the week. It was an easy decision to play him because we've got two centre-halves, we're genuinely struggling."
Moyes also confirmed that he is looking to acquire a goalkeeper following the news that Vito Mannone will be out for three months with an elbow injury.
Jordan Pickford started at Southampton and played well for the majority of the match, only to be at fault for the equalising goal.
Moyes has not ruled out continuing with Pickford but agrees he needs to add some depth at the position.
"Part of it is what becomes available," he said.
"We've been thrown a thousand keepers. Some would probably see themselves as number one, some of them might see themselves competing with Jordan, and some would feel they are genuine number twos.
"So that will all get ironed out somewhere this week, because obviously we need a goalkeeper."