Rumour: Lassana Diarra linked with return to Arsenal
Reports emanating from Russia have thrown up a blast from the past, linking Arsenal and Manchester City with a move for Lokomotiv Moscow’s former Gunner’s midfielder Lassana Diarra. The midfielder left English football in January 2009 leaving Portsmouth for a big money move to Real Madrid. Since then, the latest chapter in the former Chelsea midfielder’s nomadic career has taken him to Russia.
He joined Lokomotiv in August, following a spell at big spending Anzhi Makhachkala, but is already rumoured to be seeking a move. Twenty-eight year old Diarra is contracted until 2016, but is alleged to want to return to a competitive league, sparking interest from Arsenal and City.
Diarra played 17 games for Arsenal in the 2007/08 season, having previously made 30 appearances for Chelsea. A move to the Emirates would reignite the competition between Diarra and Mathieu Flamini for a defensive midfield berth. Diarra left the club in 2008 due to a frustration over a lack of first team chances, which was mainly due to the emergence of Flamini.
Diarra would face a battle for playing time at both Manchester City and Arsenal. To break into Pellegrini’s City side he would need to dislodge at least one of Yaya Toure,Fernandinho or Javi Garcia, whilst at the Emirates he would face competition from Flamini, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta.
The Frenchman has played 11 league games for Lokomotiv this season, scoring once and providing one assist.
Diarra has completed 15 of his 20 attempted take-ons and 22 of the 30 tackles that he has attempted this season