Arsenal have their eye on Sporting CP star Ousmane Diomande, with transfer insider Dean Jones sharing the latest update on the proposed deal with GIVEMESPORT.
Diomande is attracting interest from across the continent, but Arsenal are pushing hard to position themselves at the front of the queue for his signature.
Arsenal transfer latest – Ousmane Diomande
It’s been all change as far as the Arsenal recruitment policy is concerned in recent years, with Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar having overseen a drastic shift to proceedings. The Gunners have targeted the best young players in world football across the previous couple of transfer windows, with the likes of Fabio Vieira and Martin Odegaard just two top talents that have joined the club.
Now back in the Champions League after a hefty hiatus, the north Londoners are once again one of Europe’s premier destinations for promising players, with Arsenal looking to add another one to their roster by signing Diomande from Sporting. It’s reported in Portugal that Diomande, who featured against Arsenal in the Europa League last season and has previously been dubbed an ‘elite talent’, was subject to a bid from the Premier League side last summer.
It’s claimed that a fee of £30 million was offered to Sporting to take the defender off their hands, which the 19-time Portuguese champions were quick to laugh off. However, despite the initial setback, the report states it expects Arsenal will return with a bid for the defender, either in the upcoming January transfer window, or when the market reopens for summer business in 2024.
Arsenal signings summer 2023
David Raya (Brentford)
Kai Haverz (Chelsea)
Declan Rice (West Ham)
Jurrien Timber (Ajax)
All transfer fees via Sky Sports
Arsenal signing Ousmane Diomande makes sense – Dean Jones
When asked about the rumours linking Diomande to an Emirates Stadium switch and whether they make sense for the parties involved, transfer insider Jones admitted that the 19-year-old is exactly the type of profile Arsenal have been targeting in recent windows. Going on to suggest clubs across the continent will be scouting him, the reliable reporter does however believe they’re likely to face competition for his signature:
“They’ll always continue to look at this because they want to make sure that they evolve and they’re after the best young talent. Diomande is a player who has helped Sporting go top of the league in Portugal this week, so he’s currently so young and playing in a team top of the table and really establishing himself in that setup.
“So he won’t just be on Arsenal’s radar, he’ll be on a few team’s radar at the moment and they are being scouted quite a bit over there at Sporting. We know that this is a league and a club that gets targeted a lot by top Premier League sides. So he is definitely somebody that they’ve got an eye on for now.
“Whether he’d be willing to make that move, I’m not so sure, because he is looking pretty comfortable in a team that are doing very well. But as a long-term target, I can definitely see why Arsenal would want him.”
What do we know about Ousmane Diomande so far?
Those who were present at the Emirates Stadium for Arsenal’s Europa League clash with Sporting last season, or instead watched along from home, will be well acquainted with what Diomande can offer. The centre-back played all 120 minutes of the last-16 clash, before going on to feature in both legs of Sporting’s quarter-final defeat against Juventus.
Overall, the teenager made 34 appearances for Sporting last season, notching up over 2,440 minutes of action during that time (via Transfermarkt). And since then, the Ivory Coast international has picked up where he left off last term, as he’s featured in every Sporting match so far during the current campaign.
Already capable of playing on either side of the defence, Diomande possesses an incredible knack for tackling, as the 19-year-old ranks inside FBref’s ranking for the top 10 per cent of tacklers in his position. However, it’s his ability with the ball at his feet which has caught the eye so much.
According to FBref, Diomande ranks inside the top one percentile for central defenders when it comes to passes attempted, with his current statistics suggesting he averages over 80 per match. A wonderful trait to have and one which would likely see the Liga Portugal star slot straight into Arteta’s system at the Emirates Stadium.
The only thing that is likely to stop Arsenal from pushing hard in regard to signing Diomande is his transfer fee, with the defender contracted to Sporting until the summer of 2027. It means should they wish to secure his services, a high price tag will likely have to be matched, but given his start to life as a professional, there is every chance Diomande will prove a worthwhile signing.