Arsenal are set for a late swoop for Lille fullback Djibril Sidibe as Arsene Wenger has reportedly made him a priority over the last 48 hours.
Arsenal have ignited their interest in Lille fullback Djibril Sidibe, according to French publication L’Equipe. The report states that the defender was set to move to Monaco after the Ligue 1 club agreed a £13 million deal on Monday with the Frenchman’s club, which included midfielder Rony Lopes heading in the opposite direction. But the move has now hit a block with Arsenal entering the race to sign the France U21 international.
The report states that the deal has been complicated by emerging Arsenal interest in the last 48 hours and the Premier League club have reportedly begun negotiations with LOSC Lille over the possibility of a transfer. It is reported that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has made the versatile fullback a priority signing as he looks to consolidate his defence.
The Troyes-born defender has racked up a total of 96 appearances, scoring 7 goals for the club. The fullback was a mainstay in the Lille squad last season, making a total of 37 league appearances with 4 goals and 3 assists to his name. The defender was one of the best players in the league and ended the season with an overall rating of 7.45 (via WhoScored), a rating bettered by only 3 other defenders.
A look at the comparison matrix tells us just why Wenger has made signing the fullback a priority. He has a better defence score and has made significantly more tackles than Arsenal starter Nacho Monreal. The 23-year-old marginally beats the Spaniard in terms of percentage of aerial duels won and is also better at creating opportunities for the attackers.
Even though Wenger might look toward the fullback as a long-term replacement for the Spaniard, the stats show that he will be an instant upgrade, if the Londoners end up signing the Frenchman.
Monaco are in advanced talks with Sidibe and there is still the possibility of the Troyes-born fullback choosing the Ligue 1 club over Arsenal. But if the reports of Wenger making the signing a priority are true, then Arsenal will pull out all stops to secure a move for the Lille player.