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Arsenal Pies

Dynamic Diarra shows what Chelsea are missing

Nicklas Bendtner and Denilson may have hogged the morning’s headlines for their goal-scoring exploits but the player who impressed me most last night has to be Lassana Diarra.

The transfer deadline-day arrival from Chelsea was making his first start for the Gunners and playing alongside Denilson in central midfield, the French international showed just why Le Boss was keen to get him onboard.

Myles Palmer said of the tenacious tackler:

Diarra can be Makelele with pace

That is a good description of the player. There have been countless ‘new Patrick Vieira’s’ over the years [Salif Diao, Papa Bouba Diop, Momo Sissoko etc] but the one who most resembles the former Arsenal captain – Abou Diaby – is already at the club.

Now we can throw the ‘new Makalele’ into the first-team pool as Diarra bears an uncanny resemblance in playing style to his former team-mate. Tidy, tough-tackling, a good reader of the game and possessing an impressive burst of acceleration, he ran the show last night.

Time and again he was on hand to break up play, regain possession for his team and launch Arsenal attacks.

As I’ve said before on ArsenalPies, I thought he was Chelsea’s outstanding performer in a Carling Cup Final team including the likes of John Terry, Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.

Its no wonder Chelsea were loathe to let him leave and there loss is certainly our gain. The question now is how long the equally impressive Mathieu Flamini can keep him out of our first-choice starting line-up.

But one thing is for certain, Diarra is definitely the real deal.

What did you make of Diarra’s debut last night? Would you have him in our starting eleven? Send us your thoughts via the comments section below…

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Posted by Mo Khan on September 26, 2007 1:04 PM in Players
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