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West Ham signing this €15m-rated Frenchman would help them find the perfect replacement for Pablo Zabaleta

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West Ham Opinion: Hammers should look up to Djibril Sidibe as a long-term replacement for Pablo Zabaleta

According to claims from French news outlet L’Equipe, as cited by Get French Football News, Premier League club West Ham are hot on trail of AS Monaco’s French international defender Djibril Sidibe. 

The same report claims that Atletico Madrid were also in the race to sign the highly-rated right-back from Ligue 1 but that pursuit is now over, with Kieran Trippier signing for the Rojiblancos from Spurs

GFFN also understands that Sidibe, who was a part of the French squad that lifted the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Brazil last summer, is valued at around €15 million by Monaco. 

Sidibe made 26 appearances for Monaco in Ligue 1 this past season and contributed with just 2 assists, as the club endured a woeful run in the French top-flight.

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Leonardo Jardim, Frank Passi, Thierry Henry put in a combined effort to somehow save the blushes for Monaco, who finished 17th and barely managed to beat the drop to the second-tier. 

The right-back struggled for consistency over the entirety of the previous campaign and was nowhere near his best, although it would be harsh to judge him based on those displays, given that Monaco as a unit largely underwhelmed in Ligue 1 the last term.

Nevertheless, Sidibe continues to be highly-rated in his homeland and he might as well earn a coveted move to the Premier League this summer.

A youth graduate of Troyes, Sidibe rose to prominence with his boyhood club in the French second-tier before joining heavyweights in the summer of 2012 after helping Troyes secure promotion to Ligue 1.

Sidibe initially played second-fiddle to the more established Mathieu Debuchy at his new club but he established himself as the first-choice following the veteran’s departure to Arsenal in 2014. 

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Sidibe racked up 11 goals and 7 assists in 119 appearances for Lille in all competitions over the course of four seasons before switching boats to join Monaco in 2016.

His debut season at Monaco proved to be a resounding success, as the Les Monégasques bagged the Ligue 1 title and made it through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League, with Sidibe starring in both competitions. 

The 18-cap French international continued his fine run of form in the 2017-18 campaign and contributed with 2 goals and 7 assists in 27 Ligue 1 outings, helping Monaco to a runners-up spot behind PSG in the league. In all competitions till date, Sidibe has accumulated 7 goals and 21 assists in 114 appearances for Monaco. 

To put things into perspective, Djibril Sidibe is one of the household names in French football and it is quite understandable that his availability for a fee of around 15 million has put West Ham on red alert in the summer transfer window. 

The right-back is very much in his prime years at 26 and such a fee is considered a bargain in the market nowadays, meaning that he could be an absolute steal for the Hammers if they manage to get a deal over the line before the deadline in August. 

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Having already spent big on Pablo Fornals and Sebastien Haller, West Ham should not turn their attention towards bringing in a long-term replacement for Pablo Zabaleta at right-back.

An injury to Ryan Fredericks last season allowed the former Man City star to make the right-back role his own, but despite being largely impressive, it was quite apparent from the way he struggled to cope with pacey opposition that he is no longer the same athletic and powerful presence down the right-hand side of the pitch. 

Zabaleta is likely to depart the club at the end of the upcoming campaign and someone like Djibril Sidibe could be an ideal replacement for the Argentinian, given his well-rounded defensive and attacking attributes. 

The 26-year-old is not only renowned for his work-ethics, dogged defending and tight marking of the opposition inside his own half, but he is also an excellent crosser of the ball and has a knack for setting up goals with key passes.

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Having secured a top-ten finish the last term, West Ham will be expected to go one step better and challenge for a European spot in the Premier League next season.

Sidibe’s wealth of Champions League and Europa League experience should come handy for the Hammers.