On a recent ‘Transfer Talk’ show, presenter Emma Paton provided an update on the Gunners’ pursuit of the Bayer Leverkusen star.
“Just a quick update to bring you on a player that we were discussing on Transfer Talk a little bit earlier. Arsenal have made initial contact with Bayer Leverkusen over Moussa Diaby.
“Now Leverkusen, we understand, do not want to sell mid-season. You might remember that the club were quoting around €100m (£88m) to interested clubs in the summer.”
Although tat is some way off CIES Football Observatory’s current valuation of €60m (£52m).
It seems as if the Gunners are already moving on to Mykhaylo Mudryk alternatives with Diaby just one of several similar players mooted in recent days. Another emerging name is a familiar one in former Leeds United phenom Raphinha.
But since his move to FC Barcelona in the summer, things haven’t gone to plan, making the French dynamo a much better prospect in making an instant impact to Arsenal’s top-flight title charge.
Whilst the Brazilian is proven in the Premier League, he has found game time hard to come by at the Nou Camp and it’s hard to see him getting up to speed quick enough to compete with the likes of Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka for a starting spot.
Diaby is outscoring and outperforming Raphinha in many key attacking aspects, ranging from goal contributions (nine vs four) to key passes (28 vs 23), via FBref.
In the Bundesliga this term, the 23-year-old – who European football expert Alex Barker lauded as a “demon” – is Leverkusen’s best performer by quite some margin (7.13 rating), where he has averaged 1.9 key passes, 1,9 shots and 1.3 dribbles per game, via WhoScored, who also list his best attributes as being creativity and finishing.
Such qualities could be of a major boost to Mikel Arteta in the absence of leading frontman Gabriel Jesus, who offers the side both of those things in abundance, having averaged 1.6 key passes and 1.9 shots per league outing.
With Raphinha mustering up only 944 minutes across LaLiga and the Champions League this season after snubbing the Gunners for Barcelona in the summer, sporting director Edu Gaspar should put his full focus onto the 5 foot 7 whiz – who has “electrifying pace” and is “fearless on the ball” according to Chronicle editor Aaron Stokes – instead.