Saint-Étienne’s permanent signing of Mathieu Debuchy likely meant the departure of someone in the same right-back position, and with the sale of Saidy Janko this theory has come true. Portuguese side FC Porto have swooped in for the displaced Swiss defender, signing him until 2022 in a €3m move.
Despite being just 22-years-old, Janko has already had a compelling career. The right-back began his development in Switzerland, playing for the academy sides of FC Zürich. In 2013 the youngster was signed by Manchester United and manager David Moyes. Janko’s potential ability was evident in Manchester, where he was voted the Reserve Player of the Year in his first season with The Red Devils.
While the Swiss right-back quickly established himself within the reserve team of United, getting a taste of first team action was far more difficult. Janko stayed with Manchester United despite these challenges until another historic European club came calling: Celtic. A promising start in Glasgow hinted at a change in fortune for Janko, but in the end the right-back made just 19 senior appearances for The Bhoys.
After Scotland came France, where Janko had more luck. The Zürich product joined Saint-Étienne in the summer of 2017 and went on to make 21 Ligue 1 appearances for his new club. Averaging two tackles and just under one interception per game per WhoScored, Janko quickly became an important cog in Saint-Étienne’s defense.
However, the arrival of Mathieu Debuchy in January drastically changed things for Janko, as his fellow right-back exploded onto the scene in his return to France. Debuchy quickly forced Janko out of the first team during his incredible run of form, and the Swiss right-back found himself once again on the sidelines.
For a player who sometimes struggles to hold down a place in his side’s first eleven, moving to Porto may be exactly what Janko needs. The Portuguese side will be in numerous competitions, and as such will be relying on squad depth to compete deep into the season. If Janko can step in when needed, he should be able to find real stability for the first time in his ever-changing career.