It has been a busy summer so far for AS Monaco, as the club has welcomed young talents from the Academy into the professional team, while also welcoming Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino to the squad.
However, this summer transfer window has also been full of goodbyes. Rising star Aurelian Tchouameni earned Monaco a handsome sum with his move to Real Madrid, and the young Frenchman is now joined by Cesc Fabregas and Djibril Sidibe in leaving the club.
Sidibe joined Monaco ahead of its memorable 2016/17 season, in which the French right-back contributed to the club’s famous success in reaching the European Champions League semi-final, while also proving to be a vital component in making Monaco the 2017 Ligue 1 Champions.
Sidibe remained a red and white for six seasons, having only left the club on loan to English Premier League side Everton for the 2019/20 season. Sidibe’s solid run of performances in the Principality’s defensive line even earned him a call up to the French national team from Didier Deschamps, wherein he played alongside other Monaco teammates at the time; Thomas Lemar and the young phenomenon that is Kylian Mbappe.
Now an internationally respected footballer, Mbappe was a child when he first donned the Monaco jersey, becoming the youngest player ever to do so at the age of 16 years and 11 months. During his time with Monaco, Mbappe looked up to Sidibe, and affectionately referred to him as “Uncle Djib.”
While it is currently unclear where Sidibe will go to next, at 29 years of age the Troyes native still has some years of football left to enjoy.
The following day Monaco announced the departure of another respected player of the club. After three and a half years in the Principality side, Fabregas has been released by Monaco.
Widely considered by most to be a legend of the Premier League and the Spanish national team, Fabregas has accumulated over 830 career matches under his belt.
The midfielder achieved star status in his time at Arsenal and then Chelsea, having arrived to England from Barcelona. Fabregas quickly became a force to be reckoned with on an international level when he contributed to Spains success in the 2008 and 2012 Euros tournaments, and scored the only goal of the 2010 World Cup final for Spain against the Netherlands.
Therefore, Fabregas does not suffer from any shortage of experience, and brought exactly that to a largely youthful Monegasque squad when he joined the red and whites in the the January transfer window of 2019.
Since joining Monaco, Fabregas made 67 appearances with the club, the most notable of which being in November 2020. Fabregas came on as a substitute when Monaco were 0-2 down to Paris Saint-Germain, assisted the equalising goal and scoring the winning goal to make it 3-2.
However, the Barcelona Academy product was fraught with injuries in the 2021/22 season, making only five appearances over the course of the entire season as a result.
“He nonetheless kept a vital role at the heart of our squad, never stopped encouraging his team-mates, and remained valuable in word and deed,” read a statement from the club, which added “Monaco thanks Cesc Fabregas for his three and a half years at the club, and wishes him all the best for the future.”
Now a free agent at 35 years of age, the Spaniard will look to join another club if he wishes to continue to do what he does best.
All images courtesy of AS Monaco