Ben Crawford, a contributor to the Everton-based podcast Gwladys Street (February 24th, 31:59) says that the jury remains out on right-back Djibril Sidibe.
Sidibe is currently on loan at the club from AS Monaco but has made 22 appearances in all competitions thus far this season.
He has played in all of the Toffees’ last 10 games, including 90 minutes in the 3-2 defeat to Arsenal on Sunday.
Sidibe earned a 6.6 rating per WhoScored, but Crawford says he is coming to the opinion that he should be allowed to go back to Monaco at the end of the season, even though Director of Football Marcel Brands has the option to sign him permanently for £12.7m, as per The Liverpool Echo.
Indeed, Jonjoe Kenny, another right-back, is currently on loan at Schalke in the Bundesliga and he could well take Sidibe’s spot in the squad in the summer.
He said: “I think the jury’s definitely still out on Djibril Sidibe. I’ve got a piece coming out later on today and in it I’ve included quite a scathing kind of report, a bit of a realisation that the decision on Sidibe is certainly not clear cut.
“At this point, I’d say I’m edging towards letting him go and not taking up the option to sign him with Jonjoe Kenny coming back because I think he’s still okay and he’s probably got a lot more going forward.
“Now, Coleman is still probably a bit more of a steady defender for me. He’s (Sidibe’s) a bit erratic.”
Sidibe has been excellent in terms of the statistics.
Per WhoScored, only Richarlison and Lucas Digne have averaged higher ratings this season – of 7.37 and 7.15 respectively – and Sidibe is the only other player to have a rating over seven.
Defensively, he has averaged 3.6 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 1.2 clearances, as well as 0.9 key passes in the final third.
Exceptional right-backs are hard to come by in this day and age and Sidibe has actually been performing remarkably well since his move from Ligue 1.
It remains to be seen, of course, if the club will attempt to replace him with Kenny – they could well do just that – but he does not deserve any type of scorn for his performances this term.