Former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou has backed the Gunners to sign Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby this summer.
Mikel Arteta’s side came up short in the title race against Manchester City this season and Djourou believes that the only way they can finish top in future campaigns is to copy their rivals and add greater squad depth:
“For me, competition is the be-all and end-all, so I would welcome a new arrival in that position (when asked about Arsenal’s interest in Diaby). Just look at Manchester City: At the moment, top players like Phil Foden or Ryad Mahrez are always on the bench, while Jack Grealish is an integral part of the starting eleven because he performs really well.”
“A well-balanced squad is eminently important to strengthen the cohesion and to make sure that every player questions himself again and again. Arsenal need a bit more quality and experience so that nobody feels too comfortable.”
Diaby is someone that Arsenal’s scouts have kept a close eye on for quite some time, although it is believed that the likes of Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain are also targeting the Frenchman.
Leverkusen are not expected to sell him on the cheap either, with reports claiming that the Bundesliga club would want at least €60m (£51.5m) for the winger.
Arsenal’s lack of squad depth could be solved in the transfer market
Results in the last couple of months do back the narrative that the Gunners did run out of steam as the season came to a close.
Arteta did tend to pick the same 13 or 14 players, which suggests he didn’t trust the depth of his squad when selecting his starting lineups for key fixtures.
As Djourou points out, though, Guardiola had no such issues at City, rotating his squad as he was confident that those who would come in would deliver.
Signing players like Diaby, who could take some of the workload off the likes of Bukayo Saka does, therefore, make sense for Arsenal.