It has been reported (eg Independent,
that Arsenal have as good as signed Vasiriki Abou Diaby from Auxerre, and that
an official announcement is expected today.|
Diaby is a tall and powerful midfielder and hence, inevitably,
being hailed as the "new Vieira". We'll reserve judgement on
that until we see him play, it's hardly fair on anyone to
expect quite so much... Especially as one of the things
Arsenal fans remember most fondly about Vieira is the
way that he settled into (and even transformed) the team
first moment he stepped onto the field. And especially as he's
still only 19. But, assuming it's
all true, it's certainly a very exciting signing.
A number of other clubs wanted Diaby but he seems to have
chosen Arsenal, for the obvious reasons. He has become
something of a star in the French U19 side, but hasn't
played much so far this season making just 3 starts for
Auxerre (managed by former France boss Jacques Santini).
Not sure why that is, but it does suggest that we probably
shouldn't expect him to walk straight into the first team
And we possibly shouldn't expect him to walk straight into
the squad. Auxerre are keen to hold onto him until the end
of the season, either delaying the transfer or borrowing
him back from us.
A four-year deal is being mooted, but we'll have to wait and see.
A fee of £2m is being mooted, but the chances are it'll be
Of course, we've heard this kind of story before, and mustn't
count our chickens etc. This morning the papers are full of
similarly confident stories saying we're on the verge of
signing young striker Theo Walcott from Southampton (for
something like £15m). But Southampton are said to have
rubbished these stories. The papers could be getting ahead of themselves with the Diaby story as well. Watch this space.