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Diarra offers Wenger reminder of his ambitions

Transfer deadline-day signing Lassana Diarra has followed in the footsteps of Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner in declaring his desire for more first-team action at Arsenal.

The 22-year-old arrival from Chelsea says he left Stamford Bridge in the summer primarily to secure a greater amount of first team action. But as we near the end of October, the French international finds himself in the unusual position of having made more starts for his country than his club this term.

And with the European Championships Finals commencing at the end of the current campaign, Diarra is adamant he needs to play more. So far his only start in an Arsenal shirt came in the Carling Cup win over Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium.

“I’m not stupid. If I come to Arsenal and my situation is the same as at Chelsea, then I should have stayed at Chelsea,” he says in The Times. “If I come to Arsenal, it’s to play. In a few months, I’ll have to decide what I want to do.”

Yet if Diarra is as good as his man-of-the-match performance against the Magpies suggests, then he’ll soon get more playing time.
I have a hunch Gilberto may be allowed to leave in January – especially if we can secure a sizeable transfer fee for a player the wrong side of 30. Le Boss has been gradually disposing of his 2003/04 ‘Invincibles’ and along with Jens Lehmann, Gilberto’s time may soon be up in north London.

The Brazilian’s departure would create two openings in Arsene Wenger’s squad: central midfield and central defence. But coupled with defender Johan Djourou’s return from his loan-spell at Birmingham, Diarra would become direct understudy to Mathieu Flamini for the ‘destroyer’ spot alongside Cesc Fabregas and compensate for Gilberto’s departure.

But what do you make of Diarra’s comments? Do you sympathise with the midfielder or should he get his head down and concentrate on forcing his way in Wenger starting 11?

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Posted by Mo Khan on October 22, 2007 12:44 PM in
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I think it would be a mistake to let Gilberto Silva go in January and I don't see the sense in the move unless he is disrupting behind the scenes. He is a mentor to Denilson, a player with experience of the biggest games and he's able to cover two key positions. Diarra is in the first year of his contract and needs to realise he has to dislodge players to get a regular shirt.

Posted by: Sport Blogger | October 23, 2007 1:02 AM

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