Friday, December 2, 2022

Arsenal To Rival Borussia Dortmund In Pursuit Of Bundesliga Winger: Right Fit For The Gunners?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

According to a recent report by Le10Sport, Arsenal are set to rival Borussia Dortmund in pursuit of Bayer 04 Leverkusen wing wizard Moussa Diaby this summer. The same source has also mentioned that Diaby’s agent has ‘excellent relations’ with the Gunners which could open the door for Mikel Arteta to seal a move for him in this off-season.

Diaby’s Incredible Debut Season At The BayArena

The 20-year-old has enjoyed a brilliant debut season in the Bundesliga after putting in a series of productive displays on the left side of Peter Bosz’s attack. He has registered five goals and eight assists in 27 matches for the German outfit this term across all competitions which showcases just how much he has matured as a footballer over the past nine months.

The former Paris Saint-Germain youngster has averaged 1.5 shots, 1.2 key passes and 2.7 dribbles in every 90 minutes of the German top-flight and European football this season (stats via whoscored). His numbers highlight his remarkable consistency going forward, which has made him a must-see attraction at the BayArena.

Diaby has also represented France at various youth levels and is currently an integral member of the French Under-21 side, having made six appearances for them thus far. Maybe a summer switch to the Emirates Stadium could provide him with a bigger platform to perform at a high level and catch the attention of France boss Didier Deschamps ahead of the UEFA European Champions finals after the competition’s postponement as a result of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.

Arsenal to rival Borussia Dortmund in pursuit of Diaby who is seen in the photo
Moussa Diaby of Bayer 04 Leverkusen is challenged by George Edmundson of Rangers FC during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between Rangers FC and Bayer 04 Leverkusen at Ibrox Stadium on March 12, 2020, in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

What Are The French Winger’s Best Attributes?

Diaby can use his pace and agility to make some dangerous runs with the ball out on the wide areas. He has a low centre of gravity that allows him to make quick turns and get to the by-line. The Frenchman has also added some goals and assists to his game this season, which has enhanced his reputation in European football. However, he is still quite raw and would need time to develop into a world-class wide player, so Arteta has to be patient with him if he ends up sealing a move to the English capital this summer.

Is Diaby The Right Fit For The North London Giants?

Recruiting a promising youngster like Diaby could prove to be a shrewd move for the Gunners in the long-run. He will not only add more pace and creativity to the Arsenal frontline but also improve the overall depth of their squad. The Bundesliga prospect will also increase competition for the likes of Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson and Gabriel Martinelli in the race to secure a regular starting berth at the Emirates next season.

The French playmaker ticks all the right boxes in terms of what Arteta demands from his wingers. Therefore, he could turn out to be a decent fit for the Gunners ahead of the new season. Except for Pepe and Nelson, Arteta does not have too many natural wingers in his squad at the moment which means that a player of Diaby’s quality and skillset will undeniably be a welcome addition for the North London giants during the summer transfer period.

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