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Diame could bring much needed steel in Arsenal midfield

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With hours ticking away in the January transfer deadline day Arsenal need to do some quick businesses if they are serious about bolstering their squad in order to stay competitive for the much coveted top-four race.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with Barcelona ace David Villa but his situation is bit complicated as the La Liga giants are unwilling to sell the striker while the 31-year-old is keen for a move to London.

While Villa’s situation is largely out of Arsenal’s control but the North Londoners should wrap up a deal for West Ham midfielder Mohamed Diame before the window shuts down. The 25-year-old has been brilliant this season for the Hammers while has a release clause of £3.5 million inserted in his contract.

Diame has time and again insisted that he is fully committed to the club’s cause and West Ham Sam Allardyce is equally keen to retain his services. But, knowing the nature of the volatile transfer market, even the former Blackburn Rovers manager admits that the situation his beyond his control.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger addressed the need to buy quality players for the club and this where Diame fits the bill nicely. Don’t go by his low profile image, it can be very deceptive.

While attacking wise, Arsenal have maintained their sharpness, it is their defence that has been a major worry for the last few years. Most importantly, it is the disrupted balance in midfield that has caused lots of problem in recent times.

Since, the departure of Patrick Vieira and Mathieu Flamini, Arsenal haven’t had a proper defensive midfielder who would add steel in the middle of the park.

Creativity has never been an issue for Wenger’s side but due to the lack of a proper defensive enforcer, the balance has been disrupted, especially against big teams.

alex song Diame could bring much needed steel in Arsenal midfield

Alex Song failed to provide the defensive support

While one might point out the case of Alex Song here and his contributions last season but which aspect of his game is mostly remembered for?

His 14 assists last season and telepathic understanding with Robin van Persie was one of the major talking points but defensively he failed to provide the much needed assurance (his indiscipline, lack of positional sense, urge to go for attack on every opportunity could be the reasons) to his team.

A defensive midfielder’s job is not to join his team in attack in every possible opportunity but to provide stability at the back when the team loses the possession. Almost all the top teams in the world have a proper holding midfield player in place who balances both attack and defence nicely.

After his departure Wenger deployed Arteta in the holding midfield role beside Abou Diaby who impressed in the opening few matches. But as inevitably Diaby quickly went to his seasonal injury disposal mode, the Londoners struggled badly.

The return of Jack Wilshere added quality and dynamism in the middle but due to lack of a proper anchor-man, the same problem persists.

And exactly that’s why Arsenal must buy the former Wigan player. Based on the performance of this season, the Senegal international clearly sits head and shoulder above all the Arsenal players in terms of putting in defensive efforts in midfield.

diame Diame could bring much needed steel in Arsenal midfield

Diame is the defensive midfielder Arsenal needs

Diame has put in 66 tackles this season, winning 60% of those. Arteta on the other hand has made 70 tackles for his side, but 42 of those are unsuccessful. Wilshere does put in a lot of tackles, but surprisingly has won only 44% of it, slightly better than the Spaniard.

Another important aspect to consider here is the minute per interception ratings. Diame puts in a tackle every 62 minutes 48 seconds, compared to Arteta’s 83 minutes 24 seconds and Wilshere’s 96 minutes 22 seconds that only highlights his tremendous defensive work rate.

For a team like West Ham conceding less number of goals at home as compared to Arsenal is in itself an achievement, and a lion share of credit should go to Diame for that.

Wenger wants to spend the money judiciously and spending on him won’t be a gamble by any means. He will sit back and do the dirty jobs, while attacking wise he has been equally efficient too. He will add the perfect balance that has been lacking for few years at the club.

Question is – will Arsenal go for him at him at all? Or will Tottenham make a late move and snatch him away?

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Comments (6)

  1. You me and that little dog in the Russian spaceship all know we have needed reinforcements for maybe 5-6 years now but none came.
    Now we don’t have a clinical finisher to hang on (another Wenger wonder move) and it is costing us badly.

    Best transfer we could make is Wenger out!

    • Wenger knows what he is doing, its up to the players to up there game to insure that they can put Arsenal back were they belong,So for now trust in the players we have, And stop hoping for the players we don’t have. Look how for Arsenal came with Wenger.

  2. Sadly, I feel that Wenger will buy no-one! Lewis Holtby, m’Villa, Ba, Remi all would have added something to our squad of either Fragile (Diaby, Gibbs, Rosicky) or in experienced (Coq, Ramsey, Ox) or just Lazy or past their selby date (Arshavin, Santos).

    Its so so sad that the fans can see this and Wenger for what ever reason be it the board, his stubborness or mis-guided trust and belief can’t. At the end of the day Fans want trophies. Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man utd all operate in the Red but are successful. Man City and Chelsea have sugar daddies we know this but when player that can add depth, value (Cahill last transfer window, can’t rem the Belgium defenders name at spuds) all buys which have strengthened their perspective squads.

    Who was the scott that recommended Santos, he must have a white stick!

    But seriously bargins are there to be had. We’ve not taken them. Bayen will knock us out of Europe and Spuds will nick 4th place. Everton to finish above us. Maybe then and only then will it be apparent that you can’t win things or sustain greatness if you allow what you nurture to leave!

    Me, personally, I’m sick of it have supported AFC for 41 years. I’m gutted! Do not want us to turn into Aston villa or Fulham in the wrong half of the table. Pretty football and no results. Our defence is an embarrassment. Let Bould coach them and i f he is and that s the result.. show him the door… :’-(

    • Arsenal will not be buying anyone AGAIN! It is not good enough! Highest ticket prices in the league! Average players on superstar wages while our superstars are walking away because we cannot afford the wages they deserve! Rank incompetence and mismanagement.
      Time for the board to earn their wages or go!

      supported Arsenal for over 30 years and have never felt so alienated by the club, They do not care about the fans that have made this club great!

    • 99% of us Arsenal fans agree with you but it will probably take a nightmare year for things to change.

  3. Am left disappointed by Wenger again.