Sidibe rejected Arsenal over playing-time fears

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Monaco's former Lille defender Djibril Sidibe has confirmed he rejected the opportunity to join Arsenal in the close season.

Djibril Sidibe rejected a close-season move to Arsenal over fears he would not be a regular at the Emirates Stadium.

Sidibe subsequently signed for Monaco from Lille on a five-year deal, leaving Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger to turn to other targets.

The 24-year-old, who can play anywhere along the back-line, told France Football: "Monaco is one of the great French clubs. From a football perspective, their ambitions in Europe and participation in the Champions League are very interesting. And then I needed a place where I could progress with quality players, even if that already existed at Lille.

"With Arsenal, I thought about it  for a long time, but in terms of playing time, I knew I would be very limited, between 15 and 20 matches.

"That was not formally said to me, but I did their line-up in my head because there is quite strong competition for places.

"And then in England, it is a risk. A lot of young players have gone there without the necessary skills.

"So I said to myself, do another year or two in Ligue 1, take as much from it as possible, and why not, then play there [in England].”