Lassana Diarra has had a strange career since leaving Arsenal back in 2008.
The French midfielder played weekly at Portsmouth, but then upon joining Real Madrid in an £18m move in 2009, he immediately began to sit on their bench, and has struggled to rise from it on many occasions. He happens to be the kind of player that Arsenal are lacking at the moment, in the sense that he is tidy and effective on the ball, and is effectively, the player that Arsene Wenger envisaged Denilson to be.
There would be real issues with Diarra coming back to the club though. He moaned incessantly about being on the bench for long stretches of the opening six months of the season, and eventually left in January having infuriated his team-mates and the manager to such a great extent with his attitude. His return would surely not be a popular one among the team, which is more important than his relationship with the supporters.
The Frenchman has grown up since he left Arsenal though. He excelled immediately after he left and that was what won him a move to Real Madrid. One could easily argue that when you join a club of the stature of them, with the circus that surrounds them, it was inevitable that he would not have the success that he craved. Unfashionable enforcers are generally not embraced in Spanish football, and consequently, Diarra has had a couple of season’s bench warming rather than time on the pitch.
The 26-year-old is a Premier League style player, and he is a player the likes of whom Arsenal have been missing over the last couple of seasons. In all probability, he would have started every game after the departure of Mathieu Flamini. Speaking purely practically, Diarra would be an excellent signing for us.
However, there is reason to suggest that there is no way he would ever return to North London. Wenger has a very strict policy on the re-signing of former players, and also there is no guarantee that Diarra will leave Madrid this summer. A lot will depend on the future of Jose Mourinho in the Spanish capital – the midfielder is the kind of player who would excel under his stewardship if given a greater chance. If a new manager came in for whom flair was more important than substance, then Diarra could leave.
His performance against Barcelona in the Nou Camp last week was the best of any player on the pitch. Whether that will convince Real Madrid to keep him, or whether Diarra wants to stay at all, is another matter though. However, what is most likely is that his next destination shall probably not be Arsenal.
Would you as fans like to see Diarra back at the club this summer?
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