France full-back Djibril Sidibe has snubbed Arsenal to sign a five-year deal for AS Monaco. Arsenal looked set to sign the 23-year-old, but the former Lille defender may well have opted for the promise of regular first-team football and wages reflecting that.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been keen to sound out a long-term replacement for Nacho Monreal, who turns 31 in February, with Kieran Gibbs continuing to be on the periphery, and the versatile Sidibe looked the ideal candidate. Arsenal have also wanted cover at right-back with Mathieu Debuchy available for sale.
Sidibe can play on the left and the right side of the defence, and made 37 league appearances for Lille last season. He enjoyed a fantastic campaign on a personal note, scoring and assisting seven goals from defence, while averaging a tackle or interception every 14 minutes.
A highly athletic player who will take risks (86 attempted dribbles) in the pursuit to create chances (38), Sidibe is a player who will put the ball in dangerous areas (95 crosses made) for the forwards to attack so it’s not hard to see why Arsenal were keen on his signature.
However, the Gunners have missed out on their man, and their loss could well be Monaco’s gain. With how will the 23-year-old performance in the French Ligue 1 last season, he should have more joy in a stronger side who control more games. Arsenal will have to turn their attentions elsewhere.