Papy Djilobodji: “We can do this!”

Speaking exclusively to L’Équipe, Sunderland’s new central defensive signing Papy Djilobodji looked back on a bizarre transfer to Chelsea and what he hopes to achieve this season.

On joining Sunderland:

I was really happy and I will give everything for this club. I hope to have playing time, but the manager called me. It was important for me and that encouraged me to come. We did not speak about a place in the starting XI, but he said to me that he wanted me in his team. Just that is motivational.

On his time at Chelsea:

I enjoyed it, it was just that I did not play, whereas before, at Nantes, I played all there matches. I would train, I would go home, and I would not play. But I trained with the greatest players in the world, and I learnt a lot of things there. It was a good passage for me. I would have liked to play but, if you are not given a chance, you cannot do anything about it.

On José Mourinho:

I am not the type of player who will go to a manager and demand to play, I have never done that. One of Mourinho’s coaches told me to go speak to him but no, I did not want to. What I was showing in training, for me, was enough. And if things do not work out from there, no worries, I will sit on the bench calmly. I was not completely depressed and I was supported. I am still in contact with Bertrand Traoré, Kurt Zouma, Loïc Rémy…

On his objectives:

Play all the matches, not get injured, and finish in the top 10. We have Lamine Koné, Wahbi Khazri, Younes Kaboul, that is quite a lot of former Ligue 1 players. I have not yet seen them because they were in Austria when I arrived on Friday but I will see them today. We can do this!

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