Arsenal signing this £20m-rated Kante-like Ligue 1 starlet would be a brilliant move by Arteta


Why Arsenal should press ahead with their interest in Ibrahima Diallo

According to a report from the Daily Star, Arsenal are ready to rival Sevilla and Leicester City in the race to sign £20m-rated Stade Brest midfielder Ibrahima Diallo in the summer.

Having spent the majority of his developmental years at the academy of FC Tours, the midfielder joined the AS Monaco youth setup in 2014. Diallo spent four years at the Principality outfit but never made a first-team appearance.

In 2018, he joined Brest on a season-long loan and having made a solid impression, he was snapped up on a permanent basis by the club last summer. Till date, the 21-year-old has managed 48 appearances for the French outfit, notching up a solitary assist.

Brest's French midfielder Ibrahima Diallo (L) vies with Nantes' French midfielder Abdoulaye Toure during the French L1 football match between Brest and Nantes on November 23, 2019, at the Francis Le Ble stadium in Brest, northwestern France. (Getty Images)
Brest’s French midfielder Ibrahima Diallo (L) in action (Getty Images)

Arsenal, meanwhile, have been slowly turning their fortunes around under new manager Mikel Arteta. The Gunners were in a bad place when Unai Emery got the sack towards the end of 2019. But they have managed to improve under the new boss. They have lost just two of their 15 games in all competitions since Arteta took over.

But they find themselves in 9th place in the league and have been knocked out of the Europa League. For the club to better their performances in the coming seasons, investment in the summer transfer window is of paramount importance.

Arsenal on the right track under Arteta but need reinforcements

Arsenal haven’t been solid defensively this season, although things have been improving since Arteta took over. They have conceded 36 goals in 29 league matches. So, it goes without saying that the manager should look to reinforce his backline, but a new defensive midfielder would also be a wise addition for the North London outfit.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on the touchline (Getty Images)
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta on the touchline (Getty Images)

Former captain Granit Xhaka has turned things around since the turn of the year but continues to be inconsistent at times. Lucas Torreira and Matteo Guendouzi have also been unable to make the central midfield slot their own, with performances regressing over the course of the 2019/20 season. Moreover, Torreira has been linked with AC Milan once again, casting doubts over his future.

Hence, signing a new holding midfielder would serve them well. Having said that, Diallo is someone that the Gunners should recruit. The 21-year-old, who has been likened to French midfield dynamo N’Golo Kante, played a key role last season, helping Brest achieve promotion to the Ligue 1, featuring in 23 of their 38 Ligue 2 games.

And Diallo has adapted to top-flight football seamlessly. He played 19 of the Brest’s 28 league matches as they finished 14th in the curtailed Ligue 1 season.

Brest midfielder Ibrahima Diallo on the field
Brest midfielder Ibrahima Diallo on the field

Signing Diallo would add more quality and depth to the defensive midfield slot for Arsenal. This, in turn, should help them become a more solid outfit. Furthermore, with experience, the 21-year-old can grow into a future leader of the Gunners midfield.

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Diallo has been impressive in his two seasons at Brest. Having helped them gain promotion, the youngster has done well in his Ligue 1 debut campaign. Given Arsenal’s lack of depth in the defensive midfield position, signing a talented youngster like Diallo in the summer would serve them well.