While Koffi Djidji isn’t the centre of attention at Torino these days, with Gleison Bremer dominating the headlines, he is quietly going under the radar. The 29-year-old returned from a loan at Crotone last summer to establish himself as a regular for the Serie A club this season, attracting the attention of Fulham.
This is according to RMC Sport, who published an interview with the former Nantes defender in which they mentioned the Cottagers’ interest. Djidji’s performances with Torino this season, as well as his ‘new status’ as a regular, have ‘certainly sparked curiosity throughout Europe,’ according to the defender.
With just one year left on his contract, this summer will be the ideal time for the 29-year-old to try something new and for his club to make money from a transfer, with Sporting CP, Olympiakos and Fulham mentioned as clubs to have ‘already shown interest’ in him.
Following their promotion to the Premier League, the Cottagers will look to strengthen their squad in order to avoid relegation yet again to the Championship as a yo-yo status they have incurred lately. And the promoted teams who have had defensive stability have gone on to achieve Premier League survival more often than not, with Sheffield and Brentford being a couple of prime examples. Therefore, Fulham’s interest in one of the defenders who was ‘winning the most duels in Serie A’ before his injury in March makes a lot of sense.
Marco Silva’s men were rampant in the championship this season with the Cottagers scoring a whopping 107 goals in 45 matches. Aleksander Mitrovic was on fire with the Serbian winning the Championship Player of the Season. The 27-year-old scored 43 times and assisted 7 times in his 43 appearances in the Championship this season and will be hoping to continue his red hot form next season in the English top flight.
Given that his contract is about to be up, Torino won’t mind accepting a reduced fee for Koffi Djidji, and getting in an elite head in the centre of the defence with extensive experience in Europe’s Top 5 league would be a major standpoint from a defensive pov for Marco Silva. Although one of the hiccups is his ability to slot in a back four; Djidji has played substantially in back three for Torino and has admitted to being comfortable playing with cover-ups rather than in a pivot defence. We have seen Antonio Rudiger being a prime example of how a player’s ability is affected in certain formations – as he went from being a liability in a back four to one of Europe’s noble when he was slotted in a back three.
Nevertheless, Koffi Djidji for a reduced punk on the bank account is a risk that can provide high rewards for Fulham as they look to keep Craven Cottage a regular in the Premiership – as it had always been!