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‘Incredibly Fast, A Very Good Fit’ – Could Moussa Diaby Make Arsenal Move From Bayer Leverkusen In January?

With rumours that Arsenal are considering a move for Bayer Leverkusen forward Moussa Diaby, we asked Eurosport Germany’s Dennis Melzer for the lowdown on the Frenchman. What sort of player is he? Could he add a new dimension to Arsenal’s attack? And is there actually any chance of him leaving the Bundesliga this summer for the Premier League?

Arsenal have made “initial contact” with Bayer Leverkusen as they weigh up a move for star forward Moussa Diaby, according to multiple reports.
Mikel Arteta’s side may boast a mammoth eight-point lead in the Premier League after Sunday’s derby win over Tottenham, but it’s a division where money still talks after they were gazumped to Shakhtar Donetsk forward Mykhaylo Mudryk by struggling Chelsea.

Leverkusen’s Diaby, a lightning winger with an impressive record over the past few seasons, is the newest name to be linked with a move to the Emirates as they seek to bounce back from the Mudryk disappointment.

So what should we make of the latest rumours? And would Diaby suit Arsenal’s style? We caught up with Leverkusen expert Dennis Melzer of Eurosport Germany for the lowdown on the 23-year-old.

Diaby’s career has peculiar symmetry with Christopher Nkunku. Both struggled for regular game time at Paris Saint-Germain, before moving to Germany in 2019 and exploding onto the scene. Nkunku will join Chelsea from RB Leipzig this summer. Could Diaby also be off to the Premier League?
Since the start of last season, Diaby has scored 19 goals and provided 15 assists – even though life hasn’t always been rosy for Leverkusen, who are currently 12th in the Bundesliga.
“Since his transfer from PSG, Diaby has improved continuously,” says Melzer.
“Two years ago he linked up extremely well with Leon Bailey, while last season he was an important part of a dangerous attack with Florian Wirtz and Patrik Schick.
“Unfortunately, Wirtz was seriously injured in March last year when he ruptured his ACL. Wirtz’s absence had an extreme impact on the Leverkusen attack.
“Schick was unable to maintain his high level and at times the entire attacking game has rested on Diaby’s shoulders. He is one of the few bright spots in this – by Leverkusen’s standards – weak season.

The Gunners still appear intent on strengthening their attack despite the Mudryk blow, with the team stretched following the injury to Gabriel Jesus at the World Cup, and Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Martinelli featuring in almost every game.

So what could Diaby bring to Arsenal?

“Above all, enormous speed,” says Melzer. “He is incredibly fast, but also very good in front of goal. He also has a good eye for his team-mates. On the other hand, he doesn’t like to help out defensively.
“I think he’s a very good fit for the Gunners in terms of pace and technique – whether he’ll make it in the Premier League in terms of physicality remains to be seen.”

Leverkusen are in serious danger of missing out on European football next season after slipping nine points behind in the race for the top four.
And with a €100m price tag slapped on Diaby last summer – the same figure Chelsea just paid to beat Arsenal to Mudryk – how realistic is a move in January?

“Leverkusen will not let him go in the winter,” claims Melzer. “He is a top performer, Wirtz is back and Leverkusen still want to get into the Champions League.
“It would have to be an extremely immoral offer and a replacement would have to be available at short notice. Diaby has a contract until 2025, so I believe Leverkusen would also ask for a very, very large sum of around €100m in the summer.”


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