Arsenal have been linked with a number of midfield enforcers in recent months, which is little surprise as the Gunners could do with a steely presence in front of the defence.
Thomas Partey is obviously the main reported target, but Arsenal are also said to be eyeing alternatives in case a deal with the Atletico Madrid ace doesn’t go through.
One such player is Roma’s Amadou Diawara, who was linked with the Emirates Stadium side late last month by ASRomaLive.it, with a 30m euro (£27m) price tag mooted.
Diawara has just completed his maiden season in the Italian capital following his switch from Napoli last summer, making 30 senior appearances in all competitions including 22 in Serie A.
Prior to his switch to Roma for a reported £18.9million, the 23-year-old had made 74 appearances for Napoli, and has also played for Bologna and San Marino Calcio, as well as winning 10 caps for Guinea.
In case the Partey deal doesn’t go through, Diawara wouldn’t be a bad shout for Arsenal – a Sportskeeda scouting report from 2016 spoke highly of his credentials, suggesting that he’s “in the mould of Patrick Viera and Roy Keane”.
“Diawara truly is a player who sits in the front of the back four and protects it to perfection,” wrote the scouting report. “He tackles, intercepts and wins balls back and helps his side dominate games from midfield.
“A vital part of his game is his impressive positioning and his ability to anticipate where to position himself in order to win the ball back from the opposition. The sturdy and strong way in which he carries himself and his spot on positioning compliments his tackling and ball recovery.”
Diawara was also named as UEFA.com‘s Weekly Wonderkid in 2016, with former Bologna player Lamberto Zauli quoted as saying: “When you see him on the pitch he looks like he is playing in the garden of his own house. If he keeps improving, he is destined to become a top player. I’m not surprised that big clubs are following him.”
Since then, Diawara has progressed further and enjoyed a solid season at Roma last time out – could he make the step up to the Premier League soon?
That said, a recent report in Il Messaggero suggested that Diawara was offered to Leeds and talks with his representatives are set for this week – so the Gunners must move fast if they want to move into pole position.