sportwitness: Djibril Sidibé is enjoying life at Everton. He’s got a funny way of going about it, if his interview with L’Est Éclair in France is anything to go by, but the bottom line is, he’s happy.
Originally from Troyes, the defender wasn’t called up by Didier Deschamps for the current international break, and so had some free time on his hands, deciding to sit down with his hometown’s local newspaper to have a catch up.
Immediately, he was asked how things were going.
He said: “It’s going well, I’m acclimatising bit by bit. I needed a bit of time, which is completely normal, especially since the Premier League is different. It’s an excellent league, probably the best in the world, with a lot of intensity.
“I live near Manchester, like the majority of players at Liverpool and Everton. Why? Let’s say Liverpool is a bit of a… sad town, that went through some suffering in the past. My kids go to an international school. They’re getting used to it too. As for my English, the club have a teacher there that we can go see every day, so when I have time, I go to class to get up to date”.
One of the biggest shocks for Sidibé was swapping Monaco for Merseyside, admitting he could have stayed in the principality, but saw the project he was once a part of disappear around him, so decided to try something new.
Instead of heading to Spain or Italy, he chose to follow in the footsteps of former teammates like Fabinho, Bernardo Silva or even Benjamin Mendy and give the Premier League a go.
He said: “There’s a reason they’re there. But you’re right, when you leave the Mediterranean sun for Liverpool’s rain, it hits you hard. It’s not easy everyday, but you make do with it. I already got a taste of it when I was at Lille.
“Here, in the north of England, it really rains all the time. From morning to evening. It’s part of my new life, even if I wouldn’t mind a ray of sunshine from time to time. I don’t mind it. As I said, I know why I crossed the Channel. It’s for other reasons in England. I’ll have other life pleasures. The career of a footballer is short, so you need to know when to take good challenges”.
That’s what Everton was for the right-back, and it took him some time to convince Marco Silva to play him, even if that was part of the plan all along from the Portuguese manager.
Sidibé explained it all to L’Est Éclair, as the team was already set after preseason and his arrival was a late one, so it made sense for him to sit on the sidelines and wait for his chance.
He said: “A Spanish club told me they were interested. I spoke to a few other smaller ones, but when I had the Everton manager on the phone, everything went well. The feeling was good, which is important.
“He was very clear with me: ‘If I made you come here, it’s to play you. It’s up to you to show me that you deserve it’.”
Sidibé used Lucas Digne and Fabinho as examples of players who made the swap to the Premier League and took a bit of time to get into the swing of things, but when the time came, just like he did when Seamus Coleman was suspended, they grasped their chance with both hands and didn’t let go.
Still, he made one big mistake when he first arrived at Everton, and it’s one he will make sure to never make again.
He explained: “The first time I turned up to the training centre, I was dressed, without any meaning behind it, in a red Nike tracksuit. Everyone looked at me weirdly and said: ‘Never, never, never!’. I asked the guy was the problem was. You simply can’t wear the colours of the rival team. People here are in the extreme, but I told them: ‘Hey, guys. I’m only on loan!’”.
Source: Published by sportwitness