Date: 31st July 2007 at 10:54am
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Reports persisting of Lassana Diarra about to sign for Arsenal, Gunnerblog reports he did not travel with rest of the Chelsea squad to Brondby.

Diarra plays as a defensive midfielder, or as a right back, at least he has under Maureen. We all know how well stocked we are for right backs right now, so it’s inconceivable he’d be brought in in with this in mind, so that leaves central midfield.

Is another CM what we need?

As well as our first choice central pairing of Gilberto and Cesc, we are already additionally fortified with the likes of Diaby, Denilson and Alex Song, all vying for a one of the two (maybe three, given Wenger’s recent formational tweakings…) central midfield berths in the side, we have allowed Fabrice Muamba to depart for pastures Brummie this summer.

Diaby and Denilson’s qualities and potential are there for all to see, and whilst Alex Song has many critics amongst Gooners who do not appreciate him/think he’s not good enough, when i had seen him playing whilst on loan for Charlton, he looked more than useful, and seemed to knit their midfield and defence together.

Alongside this, we have Rosicky and Hleb, both central midfield playmakers – indeed, this past weekend’s inaugural Emirates Cup saw Alex Hleb plying his trade in his chosen central midfield playmaker berth, and to all intents and purposes, those in attendance and watching the games on tv say that he performed exceedingly well in this role.

I appreciate the fact that, as GilbertoSilver of Gunnerblog points out, he is seen as the reincarnation of Makalele in France, and for the national side, but where would that position him within our setup? Arsene has already made reference to the fact he is unlikely to bring in another striker, as we are not ‘collecting them’, and said the same sort of thing regarding a wideman, saying why bring in someone like Walcott who you believe has the potential to be world class, only to then block his route by signing a 24yr old winger, thus denying him the opportunity to develop into said beacon of footballing prowess. Well surely the same is even more true regarding central midfield at Arsenal. We can sign all the world-class potential youngsters in the world, but can only offer them so much playing time at once, and in midfield, we truly have a glut of them.

Say Diarra did sign, would one of young CMs go out on loan? Song did last time, would he do so again, and this time be joined by one of Diaby or Denilson? Surely Diarra wouldn’t, the supposed reason he’s signing is to gain more playing time, after all. And remember Arsene’s own comments about ManUre and Fergie only being able to play 11 players at any one time.

Perhaps if this were to happen, it is because Arsene must see in him something he has come to the conclusion we don’t have in the squad, a truly defensive midfield shield, which might mean he views Denilson and Diaby and more attacking, creative midfielders, and that we need this option to our game.

The question is, do we have enough options already?