Arsenal transfer news with the latest media briefing from the Emirates Stadium including reaction to stories on Ousmane Diomande and Jadon Sancho

Arsenal were prepared to make Sporting CP defender Ousmane Diomande their answer to early-season defensive issues, reports suggest. The Gunners have been chopping and changing their backline so far this term with Mikel Arteta struggling to find the same consistency that proved to be the foundation of success over the past 12 months.

With Jurrien Timber injured, Oleksandr Zinchenko missing until the last fixture and too many square pegs being moved into round holes, the suggestion that Gabriel Magalhaes could leave the club turned things upside for a brief period. The immediate fears that emerged after he was seen with ice on his thigh during Brazil’s win over Bolivia last week.

With Arteta already having to settle with Thomas Partey, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Ben White and Jakub Kiwior all in unorthodox roles in the early weeks of the season, Gabriel leaving or being unavailable would have added serious jeopardy with a schedule that now includes Champions League football and the African Cup of Nations in January.

Diomande, it is said, was the subject of a £30million ($38m) bid from the Gunners but Sporting rejected the offer. It has also been touted that they will go back in for him in the future, potentially as early as January with a ‘promise’ to act on their interest.

Portuguese outlet Record state that Sporting have reminded clubs circling Diomande that there is a £69million ($86m) release clause in his contract as talks over a new deal are scheduled for the coming weeks.

football.london says: After Arteta returned to the system that had been so good last year, albeit that was partially down to the newfound sharpness of Zinchenko and also Gabriel’s reintergration into the team, the need for new defenders is massively lessened.

Partey is a better midfielder than he is right-back, that should go without saying, and what he brings to the team el sewhere is lost when asked to bombard up from defence or come inside during build-up. Diomande, then, would have found gametime tough to seek, especially as Arteta isn’t known for heavy or consistent rotation.

That might have to change with the demands of being back amongst Europe’s elite but either way, Kiwior is also fighting for minutes and if he isn’t seen as a good enough option at first drop, then the optics of being signed nine months ago are being questioned instead.

For all Diomande’s skill, and there is certainly a lot of that, he needs minutes like every other young player and being at Sporting, under Ruben Amorim, is a very good place to get them. He will be able to continue to develop as well as prove the worth of his huge release clause.

That should, in theory at least, make a transfer to a big club in the near future more likely either way and he won’t have to sit on a bench in north London to do it.

This next bit is a piece of football.london introspection. Arsenal writer Tom Canton has written about the potential for Arteta and Edu Gaspar to offer Manchester United winger Jadon Sancho a way out of the club after a breakdown in his relationship with manager Erik ten Hag.

Sancho’s time at Old Trafford has failed to impress despite extreme hype when he arrived at the club in 2021. Now, following a back-and-forth between the pair via interview and social media on the day of the 3-1 loss to Arsenal, it has been said that Sancho is open to a move away and that United themselves are happy to allow it.

Canton believes that Arsenal would be foolish to ignore the possible career revival they would be trying to spark in Sancho. “If the Gunners could find the Sancho that lit up the Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund then it is a no-brainer,” he writes, while also adding that Bukayo Saka needs more help on the right wing and that Kai Havertz has already proved why a potential Bundesliga star-turned-Premier League flop might not be high on Arteta’s wishlist.

football.london says: It’s a well-balanced piece of work here and completely demonstrates the dilemma that Arsenal would have if the chance to sign Sancho emerged. We’re here to add two more dynamics to consider.

Sancho, while often put on the right at United, is not naturally a right-sided player and, like many, prefers to cut inside rather than go down the line. He doesn’t have the blistering pace that many might associate with the high-line, hot potato Bundesliga transitional football association with the German top division.

That isn’t an issue for Arsenal. Saka isn’t as quick as someone like Martinelli despite his speed over a short distance, he’s not a road-runner by any means and makes the most of control, intelligence and dribbling to create angles and space that others don’t. In that sense, Sancho might be a good balance for Martinelli on the left.

That opens up a battle with Trossard but really, given Sancho’s flexibility to also perform well in the centre – a role that ten Hag experimented with last season – there is no reason he can’t be considered here.

There is also the Emile Smith Rowe cloud to address. He isn’t getting chances under Arteta and will find it hard due to injuries, fitness and match sharpness, to do so. Sancho, who is the same age, would surely be an improvement in terms of immediate quality as well as experience.

He’s also homegrown, fits the age bracket desired and knows a lot of the team due to England committments. There’s certainly reason to doubt why this deal would be worth but for each point we can think of, there’s at least one more arguement to think it would also make sense.

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *