Wilfried Singo: Monaco’s Ivorian Right Back

Club: AS Monaco

Nationality: Ivory Coast

Position: RCB, RWB, RB, 

Preferred Foot: Right/Left

Height: 6’3”/190cm

Age: 23

Strengths: Pace, power, tackling, dribbling, strength, dynamism, passing, stamina, aerial duels

Areas for Development: weak-foot, decision-making


It has been a stellar campaign for AS Monaco. One year after finishing sixth and missing out on European football, Monaco have finished second in the Ligue 1 table in their first season under Adi Hutter, returning to the UEFA Champions League for the first time since 2018/19. One player who has proven essential in their transformation is Wilfried Singo.


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Singo was born in Ouragahio, Ivory Coast, the same city where fellow Ivorian internationals Serge Aurier, Franck Kessié, David Datro Fofana and Siriki Dembélé were born, and developed in AS Denguélé’s academy before making the move to Torino in the summer of 2019. Initially deployed as a center back, he was progressively shifted towards the right back position and would take little time to make his way from the U-19 side to the senior team.


The Ivorian would quickly become one of the first names on the team sheet, scoring 7 goals and 10 assists in 109 appearances for the Granata before making the move to Monaco in August 2023 for €10 million. This season, he’s not only emerged as a regular in defense for the principality side, registering 25 appearances in Ligue 1, but he’s also helped the Ivory Coast win the Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in eight years.


Singo is an incredible athlete, a quick, powerful defender who holds his own in ground duels. His upper body strength is no match for opposing wingers — at 6’3″, he’s a formidable, 1v1 beast who can operate as a right back or as a right wingback, but who has also impressed on the right side of Monaco’s back three. A duel-winning monster, he is an excellent ball carrier whose physicality and technical prowess on the ball makes him a multifaceted threat.


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The Ivorian displays strong tackling ability, capable of timing his slide tackles to perfection and catching up to players with his recovery pace and making the tackle in a more favorable body position. Dynamism is his middle name — he excels at taking on players and wreaking havoc on the counter. At Torino, he would bomb up the right flank, overlapping attackers and delivering pinpoint crosses into the box.


Singo excelled as a right wingback at Torino, capable of exploiting the defense in multiple ways. He racked up 1.5 shots per 90 last season, constantly testing the goalkeeper, and his stellar dribbling and passing ability meant you could never give him any space. When coming inside, Singo has quick feet on the ball — you almost forget he’s 6’3”, because of how agile he seems on the ball.


He may not seem the most tidy, but he’s effective, ranking in the 99th percentile among fullbacks for successful take-ons per 90 (1.19), the 96th percentile for progressive carries (1.56), the 94th for progressive passes (5.97) and progressive passes received (1.28), and the 93rd for shot-creating actions (1.48). He’s capable of breaking the lines with his passes and playing perfectly weighted through balls to players in central areas.


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Whether filtering passes from tight angles on the right flank or playing long passes over the top of defense, he is skilled at beating the press and creating chances for the center forward with his impressive passing ability. He racked up 0.62 passes into the penalty area (95th), 0.58 key passes (94th), and 6.5 completed long passes per 90 (85th).


Moreover, with an exceptional jumping ability, Singo is a force in the air who dominates wingers in the box, winning 2.59 aerial duels (78th) and coming out on top in 68.5% of his aerial duels (87th). However, he is quite one-footed and needs to improve his weak foot and increase his usage in order to be able to come inside on his left foot, be more press-resistant, and have a better technical base.


Singo’s main area for improvement is his decision-making in defensive situations. He’s still fairly raw defensively and is clearly an attack-minded defender who’s been converted into a right-sided center back. At Torino, he was tasked with defending wide areas but could also drive up the pitch and create in the final third, combining his pace and power with his passing ability and ball-carrying, but at Monaco, he’s had to drop deeper and allow more attack-minded options like Vanderson to bomb forward from the wingback position.


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However, Singo’s defensive intelligence is something that is easily fixable. It’s more to do with concentration and coaching, but also his lack of experience playing as a center back. Over the course of this season, he should improve in this area and become a more complete player. At 23, he’s only going to get better, and Monaco is the perfect platform for him to compete at a high level and hone his craft.


With a contract until 2028, Monaco have protected the long-term future of their Ivorian asset, but it’s only a matter of time before he gets a big move if he continues to improve at this rate. He could be an intriguing option for Arsenal’s right back position — with Jurrien Timber likely to challenge Oleksandr Zinchenko for the left back role upon his return and Takehiro Tomiyasu struggling with injury, Singo is capable of pushing Ben White for the starting right back position.


A physical monster with the ability to defend 1v1s, he’s a skilled ball-carrier who is capable of tucking in as the third center back, inverting into midfield, or overlapping Bukayo Saka on the right. Having acquired him for just €10 million last summer, it seems likely that Monaco will double or triple their money on Singo in the near future.


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Wilfried Singo has delivered an impressive debut campaign at the principality and won the first senior trophy of his career, coming away with the AFCON title on home soil. Whilst he’s still far away from hitting his prime, Singo has shown more than enough to be considered one of the most promising right backs in European football and the long-term successor to Serge Aurier in the Ivory Coast’s backline.


By: Ben Mattinson / @Ben_Mattinson_

Featured Image: @GabFoligno / Valerio Pennicino / Getty Images