According to Patrick Berger, Manchester United, Newcastle United and Arsenal are all interested in signing Moussa Diaby from Bayer Leverkusen. The price tag is of around £50million in exchange for Diaby’s services. Moreover, the Frenchman does not have any release clause in his contract which is set to expire in June 2025.
The 22-year-old winger has been on the scoresheet 16 times this season while also providing 9 assists in 34 appearances in all competitions. With this quantity of goal involvement, there was bound to be some interest from the big clubs to sign the player at the end of this season. Riding on the back of some consistently dominating performances in the league this season, Arsenal are the clear favourites by major bookmakers like online casino australia to secure a return back to Champions League football next season. Hence are looking forward to signing a few premium attackers in the coming transfer window.
Arsenal currently have Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe as right-wingers. On the other side, they have Gabriel Martinelli and Emile-Smith Rowe. All of them except Nicholas Pepe are having a joyful season with constant involvement in goals. Diaby has played more often on the right-hand side despite being a natural left-winger. That is because his preferred left foot allows him to do more on the right than on the left.
Nicolas Pepe has a contract expiring in June 2024 and Arsenal may have been thinking of a way to replace him. This season has been a letdown for the 26-year-old Ivorian. Arsenal signed Pepe in the summer of 2019 for a fee of £72million. That fee was only justified for first two seasons at Arsenal. Everyone expected more from him this season but that has not been the case.
How can Moussa Diaby replace Nicolas Pepe?
The 22-year-old winger’s main attributes are his passing and dribbling abilities. Moreover, he can play in a variety of positions like on either side of the pitch as a winger or midfielder and also as an attacking midfielder or center-forward. As he now plays on the right-side more, he likes to take more shots with his left foot after cutting inside. He also likes to drive at opponents on counterattacks.
However, there are a few weaknesses to his game that are noticeable. He is not the best in defensive contributions and could use some help in winning aerial duels. He has completed 39 key passes this season and 44 passes (not including set pieces) into the final third (stats via fbref). Arsenal could use this kind of creative ability, especially after seeing their forward line struggle to create in a 0-2 defeat to Liverpool.
Moussa Diaby has the 9th most progressive carries in the Bundesliga (137) and also has 30 carries into the penalty area which is the 5th most in the league. He is 7th in the list of number of shots on target with 24, and has dribbled past 45 players ranking 9th in Bundesliga. He ranks first in a fancy statistic on nutmegs by performing that skill 13 times this season.
Diaby has very similar traits to that of a left-footed right-winger. He creates from the right with his excellent passing ability and uses his pace and physique to burst into good areas of the pitch and create chances. Moreover, he also does not shy away from taking a shot but lacks the defensive contribution needed for a world-class player.
Should the Gunners push hard to sign Diaby?
There’s no denying the player’s ability and talent as he is one of the best performers in the German league this season. He has shown gradual growth in his statistics in the past few seasons. He could better his last year’s personal record by the end of this season. This means that he is not just a one-season wonder but a player who is learning and showing signs of growth.
Moreover, he is also one of Europe’s best ball carriers and that could help Arsenal in big games. Arsenal lack that one player who grabs the game by its neck. He could be that one player that Arsenal can look at in tough situations. There are matches when even the best teams struggle to score. However, only Champions find a way out of it and Diaby could help Arsenal get the Champion’s goal.
Selling Nicolas Pepe could help Arsenal fund their transfer move for Moussa Diaby. That will also get them a better player with the better form at the moment. If Diaby does succeed at Arsenal, other players like Saka will work even harder to improve and start games. This will not only improve the overall squad quality but also the depth in the squad.
Arsenal Keen To Sign £50million Striker On A Two Year Deal; Decision To Be Made In The Summer
Arsenal Submit Proposal For Highly Talented U23 Star; Here Is How He Could Impact The Starting XI Over The Years
£26m Arsenal Midfielder Looking To Make His Move Permanent With Club In Agreement; Is It The Right Call Though?
Arsenal will possibly be competing in all big competitions next season. They will need the necessary depth to win maximum games in the season. The Gunners will need a back-up for fatigue and Diaby could do that for a number of positions. To top it off, Mikel Arteta is praised for his ability to improve young talent. Moussa Diaby could thrive under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.