Thursday, January 17, 2008

Lassana Diarra Leaves For Portsmouth

After weeks of transfer speculation, it has finally been confirmed that Lassana Diarra has joined a colony of former Gunners at Portsmouth. The French international had made only 13 appearances with Arsenal since signing from Chelsea last Summer. Despite some impressive performances, the magnificent form of Mathieu Flamini and Cesc Fabregas has kept the 22 year-old out of Arsenal's starting lineup.

Arsenal are reported to have made an impressive profit during the player's short tenure at the club, with the latest transfer fee believed to be in the range of £5 million, £3 million more than what he arrived for.

Diarra is sure to get more playing time at Portsmouth, where the absences of Papa Bouba Diop, John Utaka, Sulley Muntari, and former Arsenal forward Kanu are likely to immediately throw the midfielder into the fray. However, the Frenchman admits that he has left two big clubs and would like to move to a bigger club some time in the future.

"My choice could shock and surprise people, I am conscious of that," Diarra said.

"It isn't Arsenal, it isn't Chelsea - but I know the Portsmouth manager, I know he is going to play me.

"Some are already saying that in going to Portsmouth, I am making a mistake regarding my chances with France.

"But I don't think so. I have thought about it.

"I need to play. I really want to think about myself, about those who appreciate me, who want to see me a little more on the pitch."

He continued by saying that he will not spend his career at Portsmouth.

"The people at Portsmouth know I will not spend my life at this club.

"If I shine, if a really big club wants me, I know already that everything will go well.

"I am 22 and the most important thing for me is football - my job, my passion."

In response to hearing that Arsene Wenger had wanted to keep him at the club, Diarra responded with an attitude which screamed "sell me!"

"I read that the club wanted to keep me - but when you want to keep someone, you do it by playing them. This hasn't been the case."

Having already expressed that he felt he should have started more for Arsenal, Diarra left Arsenal bitter about a lack of playing time. Not good enough to displace Flamini, Fabregas, or Sagna and not mature enough to wait for his time to come, I say good riddance.