French defender Djibril Sidibe was left with a choice of two clubs in the summer transfer window just gone, and decided to stay in France and secure a move to Monaco from Lille, passing up the opportunity to move to Premier League club Arsenal.
The defender says that the main reason he didn’t move to Arsenal over the summer was that he was unsure whether he would be a regular starter in Arsene Wenger’s side, and whether he would get the playing time he wanted at Arsenal.
However, Sidibe hasn’t ruled out the possibility of a move to Arsenal next summer, saying that he will be targeting a move to the Premier League at the end of the season, saying, “I chose to stay in Ligue 1 and then leave for the Premier League next year because it is a competition that greatly appeals to me.”
The Gunners managed to strengthen their defence with the signing of Shkodran Mustafi over the summer for £35m, and could be looking to strengthen even further over the coming transfer windows.
Speaking of his potential playing time at Arsenal, the Frenchman said, “I would have played maybe 25 games this season, including the cups. They also wanted to use me on the left whereas I want to establish myself on the right.”
With the 24-year-old keen to make himself useful on the right-hand-side of the defence, would he be able to challenge Hector Bellerin for a starting spot if he were to sign for Arsenal next summer?
The French defender in Ligue 1 makes more tackles per game than Bellerin. Sidibe wins on average 2.26 tackles per game, whereas Bellerin weighs in with just 0.57 tackles per game on average. However, Arsenal’s current right-back loses 0.86 tackles per game, but Sidibe loses 3.08 per ninety minutes.
Bellerin is known for posing a huge threat going forward, bombing down the right wing, and has managed to create one chance per game for the Gunners this season, but the stats say that Sidibe is more of a threat going forward for Monaco. The right-back has created 1.85 chances per game for the French side this term, and has made 1.64 key passes per game. Bellerin has made 0.86 passes per game in contrast.
In terms of interceptions and blocks, the pair are pretty similar, and they same goes for total duels won, Bellerin 49.06% with Sidibe winning 42.31%. Also, Bellerin commits less fouls per game than Sidibe.
To conclude, Arsene Wenger is a huge fan of Bellerin, and would be reluctant to drop the Spaniard at any stage if he continues the form he is in. However, the stats certainly show that Sidibe could easily challenge Hector Bellerin for a regular starting spot if he makes the move to Arsenal next summer that he so nearly made last summer.
Next season could be a good time for Sidibe to arrive as Wenger may lose all three of Mathieu Debuchy, Carl Jenkinson and Kieran Gibbs – as the trio are all seeking more game time than they are likely to get at The Emirates. Sidibe can cover at both right and left back and with Monreal moving into his 30’s, there could be plenty of game time opportunities for him should he join.