No big deal as Diarra leaves Arsenal

No big deal as Diarra leaves Arsenal

While it’s not official just yet, reports are that Lassana Diarra has signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Portsmouth. The French international midfielder has reportedly been sold by Arsenal for £5 million, £3 million more than the club paid for him from Chelsea just over four months ago.

Update: It is official; Lassana Diarra has left Arsenal for Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee.

The Diarra situation is one that I spoke about in a detail yesterday and there’s not really too much to add. He wants to play first-team football in order to make the French national team for Euro 2008, Arsenal can’t give it to him right now, so he’s left. I don’t think it’s the smartest decision he will ever make but I can definitely see where he’s coming from. Portsmouth are a decent club on the up and he should do quite well there.

Diarra is off to play for PortsmouthFrom an Arsenal perspective, there are both positives and negatives that can be taken out of the sale of Diarra. On one hand the club are undoubtedly losing a talented prospect but on the other hand they’ve only had him for four months and it would be fanciful to believe that he was ever in Arsene Wenger’s long-term plans before he signed. When you think about that, it’s not such a big deal that he has left.

Diarra’s decision to go should increase the likelihood of Mathieu Flamini signing a new deal and that’s definitely a good thing. If I had to pick one out of the two Frenchman to stay at the club it would be the scruffy-looking one and if Diarra leaving means Flamini will sign on then I’ll take that.

The sale of Diarra will also give Denilson more chances to develop and will hopefully persuade Wenger into giving Abou Diaby some more starts in the middle of the pitch. There was some talk that – due to their close friendship – Diaby might follow Diarra out the door if he left but hopefully the former can now see the opportunity he should get to show his worth as a central midfielder.

The final issue is whether or not Wenger will use Diarra’s exit as an opportunity to make a signing. Currently the club has Cesc Fabregas, Mathieu Flamini, Denilson, Gilberto Silva, Abou Diaby as well as Alex Song who could play in the middle, so Wenger could definitely argue the point against bringing in a new signing. On the other hand, an injury to either Fabregas or Flamini could leave experienced options a little thin so there is equally a case for buying someone new.

And if Wenger does choose to splash the cash, who would bet against him bringing in someone even better than Diarra? Not me, that’s for sure.

What do you think?

Have you say on Lassana Diarra’s exit by leaving a comment.

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38 Responses to “No big deal as Diarra leaves Arsenal”

  1. vlcgooner
    January 17, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    I think that everyone can see Diarra’s potential, but like Diaby, it seems that he wasn’t always on the same page as the rest of the team. In particular, both players tend to hold on to the ball too long, which really isn’t Arsenal football. I have questioned Diaby’s chances of making the team before because he really isn’t very good as a LM. So, I hope he gets more chances in the center of the field.

    If Arsene brings in a player, let it be a true wide player, preferably left-footed. When you listed your CM you forgot both Hleb and Rosicky. Both can fill in for Fabregas when needed and even prefer to play in the center. Diarra never could.

  2. Jane
    January 17, 2008 at 8:24 pm #

    I found myself getting in a pickle over this sale, and couldnt believe Arsene would let him leave etc etc…. Gosh how much we would miss him etc etc – then it dawned, he hasnt played much so how can we miss him, for once a profit has been made – also, does a boy who throws his toys out in the first few months deserve a place in this current well disciplined set up – NO

    I think Arsene will buy with the money, a strong defensive midfielder to allow Cesc the freedom he needs to perform at his best – Song, Diaby and Dennilson are not at the correct level yet.

    Also, I think Arsene is going to turn Song into a strong defender, just as he did with Kolo

    Then again – I may be wrong!

  3. nzekwe, joburg, south africa
    January 17, 2008 at 8:25 pm #

    I see his exit as good riddance to bad rubbish. If he is so good, the special one wouldnt have left him on the bench. His ambition for first team soccer will ruin him prematurely. I dont see him benching the big guy from Senegal or suri muntari after the nations cup, he will end up running from pillar to post.
    Players should learn to be patient. Your time will come if you are good enough. It is only wenger that can tolerate such stubborn rats, but i bet him he wont make the french team during the summer if he continues like this. He lacks discipline and it will afect his future.

  4. Ole Gunner
    January 17, 2008 at 8:27 pm #

    I hope he’s really gone. Can’t wait for Arsenal to confirm it.

  5. Spanish Fry
    January 17, 2008 at 8:35 pm #

    It would be ironic to see him benched when the other Africans return for Portsmouth. There would be more than a couple Arsenal supporters laughing if that happens.

    As I said yesterday, I’ve got nothing against the guy, I’m just not that bothered that he’s going. Jane put it well when she said ‘how can we miss him if we’ve never even seen him’. We can’t, so I won’t. Great to see noone is crying too much about his exit.

    Ole Gunner – Sky Sports is the source and they rarely get stuff like this wrong. Will confirm it ASAP though when Arsenal.com has it up.

  6. Lutosin Gbela
    January 17, 2008 at 8:39 pm #

    It was no doubt a wonderfull deal made by prof again,he did not just expect to come and displace our great Flattuso(Flamini).But definitely we need experience on the bench if we are to gun for the title,let wenger bring in experiece please!!!!!!!

  7. tunadog
    January 17, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    very bad news . Diarra is a class player & against Blackburn he was head & shoulders above anyone else on the pitch. Would much rather have dumped Gilberto who is seriously past his sell by date

  8. Spanish Fry
    January 17, 2008 at 8:40 pm #

    Any suggestions on a possible replacement? David Silva was bandied about yesterday but I can’t see that happening!

  9. Josh 5111960
    January 17, 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    Diarra needs to play and we can’t drop Flamini just because he wants a game.Diarra will be a good signing for pompey but I am not sorry to see him go.He wasn’t prepared to wait for his chance like others have so it was best to ship him out and make a nice profit of E3.5m.
    As long as Flamini signs a new contract Arsenal will be ok.Hopefully Gilberto will leave in the summer.

  10. Ole Gunner
    January 17, 2008 at 8:58 pm #

    tunadog

    No way. Song was the best player. Diaby was the best player on the pitch for the first 35 minutes. Eduardo was clinical and calm to get the goals.

    Diarra was not heads and shoulders above anyone. He played well, even very well but I’d say that’s his one above average performance for us. Against Newcastle,Sevilla and Boro he was dismal.

  11. Ole Gunner
    January 17, 2008 at 9:02 pm #

    “Any suggestions on a possible replacement? David Silva was bandied about yesterday but I can’t see that happening!”

    We don’t need a replacement. This guys was an afterthought. He arrived on the transfer window. He was a bonus.

    Replacement? we’ve got lots of players who can play there already. If we need one, we’ll buy him in Summer. Hopefully that one would have more character.

  12. Spanish Fry
    January 17, 2008 at 9:11 pm #

    Yeah, Ole Gunner is right, he was not head and shoulders above everyone against Blackburn. He was great, but still had a tendency to hold onto the ball for too long.

    Interesting point about not requiring a replacement. Not sure how I feel about it. Give me some time to ponder…

  13. Goonoo
    January 17, 2008 at 9:41 pm #

    Good riddance. We don’t need whingeing, jumped up gits in the club. Flamini’s far better anyway!

  14. anonymous
    January 17, 2008 at 9:44 pm #

    Agreed, he kills our flow on the break every time….
    Flamini has proved he’s a better fit

    I don’t think we need to fix what aint broken..

  15. doo dee do de do do We're the gooners
    January 17, 2008 at 9:48 pm #

    Yeah, let him go and take Diaby wiv im…..

  16. Richie gooner
    January 17, 2008 at 10:37 pm #

    The only thing that makes me a little uneasy is if the Flamster decides to follow Diarra out of the door come the summer, as been expressed by sources at Arsenal recently.I can only imagine he may be thinking if Pompey are able to pay Diarra around 50k,60k a week then the offer from a club of Arsenals stature must seem pretty miserly in comparison.Flamini may well see what other clubs such as Juventus are prepared to offer him, which is a dangerous gamble Arsenal are taking, as if he decides to leave we will be in a sorry state as i don,t see the other players we have being able to compansate for the loss of two class acts.

  17. Spanish Fry
    January 18, 2008 at 12:09 am #

    I’m confident that Flamini won’t leave. People are making a big deal about Wenger’s “hopeful” quote, but I really don’t think there’s too much to worry about. He’ll sign on.

  18. Le Gunner
    January 18, 2008 at 1:15 am #

    Flamini was in the same situation then he wanted to go but Wenger didn’t allow him to go because he knew he was special. For Diarra I don’t think Wenger tried hard enough to keep him because he can see he is a good player but nothing special.Diarra made far too many errors on the pitch. I don’t know why we are making too much fuss of his exit. to me he never was an Arsenal player more like a passenger waiting for the next train.take the example of Anelka he played for about a million teams around the world but hate him or love him, he will always be remembered as Arsenal player.Diarra who? Anyway I don’t want to be harsh on him but good luck to the guy and I mean it.

  19. Jay
    January 18, 2008 at 3:02 am #

    Diarra is a good player, everyone agrees he has potential and could be a big player but to be a big player you also have to be patient and try and take any first team appearances you can. I believe he thinks he is 3 times the player he actually is and he cannot be patient therefore he won’t settle down at any club. For example, if he did what Clichy had done then maybe he could have been a bigger player. Clichy is the best LB in the prem.

  20. Josh 5111960
    January 18, 2008 at 3:38 am #

    I’m fed up with this,Van Persie is out again.
    This is ridiculas,they should just tell us that he’s out for the season and be done with it.
    Wenger go and buy another striker/winger.
    Complacency in the squad against Birmingham last week,and complacency in Wenger over buying players.I really hate critising him,but I think he’s wrong not to strengthen the squad.

  21. ramugunner
    January 18, 2008 at 5:04 am #

    This totally sucks. RVP is injured out again, what a sicknote he is. He is the best striker we have in the sqaud and is really good in set pieces like freekicks. Now nobody can bend freekicks in a club like Arsenal and that’s our weakness. look at big clubs like milan, barca and manu who hit lots of match winning freekicks to get points. Wenger said RVP will get back soon in the team and will be like a new signing. What the f that means by new signing, it means he signed a injured player who was said taken as a player who will the league for us. It’s ridiculous and as for me I gave up with RVP and I will not expect anything from him. Now remains Ade, Silva and Bendy as our top strikers but none of them are a complete striker with the calibre to play in a league winning team. I know all of them are quality players and I am sure they will be but do you think we can win trophies with such strikers, hell no.
    I just came back from my class and I am so sad to learn RVP is out aginn. It pisses me off and now I don’t expect a lot from this team. I will tell the weaknesses in the current team.
    1. Almunia, he is doing okay at the moment but he never convinced me. So, not simply good.
    2. CB’s, if Toure and Gallas can play all season without a injury we are alright.
    3. Wing backs, both clichy and sagna are very good and reliable but please clichy learn to cross.
    4. CM’s, Fabregas is awesome but at the moment totally out of form and I will drop him to the bench for couple of games. As for Flamini, Pleyer of the season so far.
    5. Wide midfield, not satisfied with both Hleb and Rosiscky knowing that both are such a brilliant players. Eboue or Diaby or Walcott all three are shit playing wide.
    6. Strikers, would have been okay if RVP have played majority of the games but without him, all other strikers are either in a developing process or adapting process.
    7. Some other problems are we are not good in set-pieces,both defensively or offensively. No one is good in freekicks(besides RVP) and crosses(Sagna is okay). You can say we don’t depend on setpieces, crosses or freekicks cause we play a freeflowing football and score beautiful goals. But we are lacking our beautiful game and wenger ball for more than 2 months.
    In spite of all this we are still joint top at the moment and still has chance to celebrate coming May. We need to strengthen the side in at least 2 areas to do so, probably wide midfield, goalkeeping or upfront.

    As for Diarra issue, I liked the guy and thought he could be even better than Flamini but lost his patience and had a very bad attitude. So there is no place for such players in the team, eg Reyes, Cashley cunt. There should be more chances for Denilson, Song and Diaby. But as for Diaby he is not a team player and I don’t think he is a big quality either. He is in the same class with Diarra in attitude thing so I will not be surprised if he leaves in the summer and I would be a happy man to see him leave.

    My prediction for this season:
    We will be 3rd behind Manu and chelski in the league. 3rd place is so secure cause pools are loads of shit.
    In champions league, we could be knocked out from the next round. If we get thru’ with some magic still we will not win the champions league.

  22. Avendesorax
    January 18, 2008 at 7:08 am #

    Good riddance to Lassie, I always thought he was nothing more that a little Chelski knob.

    Diarra can now concentrate on being the brillant player we know he can be without that little fool under his feet, because regardless of what anyone says before Diarra came Diaby was a fantastic player, rightly spoken of in comparison with Vieria.

    Also we can now looke foreward to the introduction of Barazite and Randel into the first team.

  23. TayGoon
    January 18, 2008 at 7:41 am #

    RVP may not be injured. That is just Wengerspeak for “I won’t include him in the squad”.

  24. Spanish Fry
    January 18, 2008 at 8:10 am #

    ramugunner – How can you be so negative about things when the club is top of the league? They’ve got there without Robin van Persie thus far so who’s to say that Adebayor, Eduardo and Bendtner can’t keep it up.

    I think you’re far to negative about our chances. Keep your chin up.

  25. Jay
    January 18, 2008 at 8:31 am #

    rite weneva rvp gets injured, the club says – he will be back in 6 weeks, 6 weeks later, they say 2 weeks, 2 weeks later they 8 days etc etc, it pisses me off. we need a striker to rvp atm and i say get in Adriano on loan. We wont pay nothing, hav a quality striker and it is only until RVP is fit again. Rvp seems to get injured once he is in from. He has never had an injury free season yet is still the clubs top striker, that says something about his quality.

  26. Spanish Fry
    January 18, 2008 at 9:20 am #

    Jay – Why would we sign Adriano? He’s troubled at the moment and he’s obviously not going to get goals immediately. It would be The Beast all over again!

  27. ramgunner
    January 18, 2008 at 9:34 am #

    I know I am more negative with our situation but fact is it’s truth. Our main problem is our attack and I am fed up watching our football for last two months. After we thrashed Prague I don’t remember any game which we played to our full potential for 90 minutes. So there should be problem in the team. We can’t play so badly and depend on the luck side to get points. We started really well and now the team look more relaxed and also struggle even against Birmingham. I thought our players will learn from bad results like loss against Boro but still they are not. RVP out, Diarra out, our sqaud is going to be more thinner. One bad aspect of Diarra sale may relax Flamini. Flamini knew Diarra was knocking in the door for his place so he tried to give his everything but now Flamini looks like undisputed in his position, if he stays. But I think he might leave you know why he is not a true gooner. He was offered 40k per week worth contract but he rejected it. Cesc, being one of the brightest young prospect in the world agreed a 8 year deal worth 45k per but flamini couldn’t agree with 40k. So he might league to intermilan or Juventus if they offer him more salary.
    RVP is one of the best strikers in the league if he gets a run but he has never manged to play more than 8/10 matches in succession but I will be happy to see him against Milan.

    Lets win agaianst Fulham and we will continue. I think it will be really tight match though.

  28. Jay
    January 18, 2008 at 9:55 am #

    Craptista, or the beast was average for us but all adriano needs is belief, He has stood by Inter and now he is in a rough patch, Inter don’t want to know. He is a known goal scorer, and with a couple of games under his belt he could et going. Regular bloggers know how much I admire Karim Benzema and this must be only time i have blogged about recriuting another striker that was not Benzema. We need to sign a striker and a winger. Its a must!

  29. tom
    January 18, 2008 at 10:02 am #

    So long and thanks for the fish diarra, he’s been a good little business venture.

  30. Spanish Fry
    January 18, 2008 at 10:17 am #

    ramugunner“I think he might leave you know why he is not a true gooner. He was offered 40k per week worth contract but he rejected it.”

    I’m sorry mate, but I think that is a very odd comment. We don’t really know what goes on behind closed doors and the assertion that he turned down a deal for more money is based on nothing more than a few media reports. Personally I don’t believe that stuff until it’s set in stone.

    How can you say that Flamini is not a true Gunner when everything he has done over his time at the club says otherwise? He’s stuck through thick and thin and just when he was ready to move because of a lack of opportunity he made a massive decision to stay and has been rewarded. He’s been the most consistent performer throughout this season and always gives 100%. In the games where others go in and out of form he is always there, giving it his all.

    Sorry for the rant, you’re entitled your opinion of course, but I’m really unhappy with that comment about Flamini. Without him, we would not be top of the league and just because Diarra has moved on doesn’t mean he should be criticised.

  31. Spanish Fry
    January 18, 2008 at 10:20 am #

    Jay – Sorry, but I’m still against bringing in Adriano. Our strikers are not the problem at the moment, it is the creativity in the midfield, and I would be happy to see Adebayor, Eduardo and Bendtner taking responsibility for the rest of the season in van Persie’s absence.

    They’ve got us this far, I think they can take us to the title!

  32. Ronaldo7
    January 18, 2008 at 10:30 am #

    Just a quick comment on Flamini…he has been arsenal’s best player and i dont understand why everyone is bringing him into the diarra story…he will eventually sign his just waiting for a very good deal from arsenal cause he thinks he deserves it…Wenger will keep him his not stupid…

    Also Adriano is past his use by date…as a united fan i would not care if adriano went to arsenal…arsenal dont even need another striker…they need a left winger..

  33. Demetrio
    January 18, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Im not worried about Van Persie being gone as well SF.. I mean he’s a great player when he’s healthy, but we really ahvent had him this season and the others are doing fine without him. Eduardo is doing fine up front with Ade. I still feel we need to strengthen the defence before the transfer deadline. Senderous can not fill in for Kolo. Against Derby, Birmingham teams like that he can compete, but the bigger, better, quicker strikers in the league will eat him up. Djourou maybe.. but im not too impressed about him either.

  34. tom
    January 18, 2008 at 11:05 am #

    bring. back. carlos vela.

  35. darragh
    January 18, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    ramugunner – your comment on clichy crossing I think is illfounded. I rely on his cross to Adebayor against West Ham, which led to a goal…what an assist.

  36. ramgunner
    January 18, 2008 at 2:38 pm #

    darragh- As for late clichy have provided some really good assists and were crucial too. But if you look at his overall crossing ability, he is really poor. Actually I think he lacks vision, most of the time he doesn’t watch his teammates, just cross the ball and finds nobody. Hopefully he can provide some assists like against westham and everton. When he will be a good crosser of the ball in couple of seasons he will be the best leftback in the world, his pace and defensive qualities are really awesome.

    Is Carlos Vela coming back this jananury, I don’t think so. I watched him play for osasuna in copa del ray few days earlier.

    Spanish fry: I agree with you. Flamini has been a revolution and is one of the player who helped us to be top of the league. If he is true gooner then why he is demanding more to sign a contract. I have enjoyed watching flamini this season but I don’t think he is a top notch player but his workrate is good just like Gattuso. I remember the Edu saga back few years ago. When he was expected to sign a new contract and he was playing really good at that time he left for Valencia. Wenger had said he will not allow Edu to leave the club but surprisingly he left. As for Flamini, even Wenger is not confident, he is hopeful so what does that mean????????? I hope flamini sign a long term contract though, he should, given that his main rival for the position is gone.

  37. ramgunner
    January 18, 2008 at 2:48 pm #

    One thing I don’t like about Wenger is he never give true updates about player’s injury. He said it was flu which keep RVP out for a week and now he says few weeks. Lord, that few weeks can be more too.

  38. Spanish Fry
    January 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    If van Persie had the proper flu then it’s going to affect his body’s ability to recover from the muscle problem. The flu is such a drainer, in most cases it virtually knocks you out for one to two weeks. Thankfully I’ve only had it once in my life but if van Persie has had the flu then I think that would explain the prolonged absence due to muscle problems.

    About Flamini, don’t worry about the media reports. You really don’t know whether he’s holding out. There are parts to contracts that you and I probably can’t understand so it’s just a matter of him getting everything right. I’m confident he’ll sign and despite Wenger’s quote, it’s clear he is too.

    As I said earlier, just keep your chin up. Wenger should not be criticised – he’s got the team performing above expectations and should be entitled to do things his way to challenge for the Premiership.

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