Wes Brown has only made one appearance so far this season for Sunderland, which, given the club's defensive issues, is a strange situation as the experienced central defender has great knowledge of the game.
It would be expected that Brown would at least be given a chance to prove that he is the answer to the team's issues with his leading ability, but it appears that is not the case and it could spell an end not only to his Black Cats career, but, at 36 years old, his lack of game time might bring an end to his playing days as a whole.
Brown has spent the majority of his career at former club Manchester United, the only team other than Sunderland that he has played for in his career, highlighting fantastic loyalty and dedication which has become lost in today's game.
Brown joined United at the age of 12, signing on to play for their academy system, and worked his way up the ranks as a club grown player to make his debut in 1998 against Leeds United.
During his time at Old Trafford, he would go on to win numerous Premier League titles as well as two Champions Leagues and countless other team awards during Sir Alex Ferguson's time at the helm.
Brown was apart of one of the most successful periods of one of the world's biggest clubs and made a total of 362 appearances during his time with in Lancashire, scoring five goals.
His impressive performances at club level earned him the honor of representing his country from 1999-2010, the defender making 23 appearances in total during his England career, with him even a part of their 2002 FIFA World Cup squad.
Due to his success with the Red Devils, Sunderland's signing of Brown in the summer of 2011 was met with a great reception and was seen as the club making steps in the right direction, bringing in players of high caliber to help improve the younger squad members.
Brown came straight into the team upon his arrival, winning the man of the match award on his league debut against Liverpool, and went from strength to strength following that, playing a major role at the club.
However, an injury saw the veteran defender miss out on over a year of football between 2012 and 2013, one which had been a reoccurring issue throughout his career, and the club were prepared to pay the remainder of his contract following the end of the 2013 season and allow him to leave.
But Brown refused the offer and went on to impress by finding his form once again, reforming his defensive relationship with former United team mate John O'Shea as he once again became a regular in the team.
Unfortunately for Brown, since Dick Advocaat took charge he has struggled to make his mark, with Advocaat placing him up for a free transfer during the summer but, without any taker, the club decided to offer him a one-year contract extension instead.
Will Brown stick around?
Advocaat admitted that the defender wasn't part of his plans and it appears that he isn't in Sam Allardyce's thoughts either, which begs the question; how long will Brown stick around not even making the bench?
With Allardyce set to boost the defensive options in January, it could spell an end for the veteran, who will likely be given the chance to see out his final year as a mark of respect from the club.
Seen as though the club have not decided to gamble on Brown even during one of Sunderland's worst run of performances, with him only coming into the team against Everton due to injuries, it is clear he is not part of their plans and is simply being kept to provide experience within the changing room.
The six goals the team conceded against the Toffees in his only league appearance of the season were not exactly great for his chances either, with the team woeful at the back on the day, even though they were deployed in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 set-up.
As he comes to the end of his career it will be difficult for Brown to find another club following such a spell without participating and it could be that his career may come to an end when the season closes.