Arsenal have identified Roma’s Amadou Diawara as a possible alternative should their pursuit of Atletico Madrid’s Thomas Partey fall through, according to James Benge of football.london. And since Atleti are holding strong on Partey not moving until and unless a club activates his £45M release clause, paid in lump sum, it looks like the Gunners are going to come up short. Without player sales to bolster the transfer war chest, Arsenal almost certainly don’t have that kind of money available right now.
Benge reports that the Gunners have yet to make a formal approach for the 23-year old but that he has definitely caught the eye of Arsenal’s transfer team. Reports in Italy suggest that instead of a sale, the clubs could do a swap deal — Diawara for Lucas Torreira. Diawara made 31 appearances in all competitions last season, Torreira made 39.
The links first appeared in a Gazzetta dello Sport transfer rumor scroll, not a standalone article. Gazzetta is on-par with the Daily Mail when it comes to transfer rumors, which isn’t a good thing. So I’m not putting much stock in this one quite yet. Benge picking it up and seemingly reaching out to his Arsenal contacts gives it a bit more weight, although I’m skeptical that it’s much more than the club acknowledging they know who Diawara is and would be open to moving for him.
That said, a Torreira-for-Diawara swap seems plausible. The Uruguayan fell out of favor at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta and is reportedly keen to move back to Italy where he was successful with Sampdoria. Of course, a straight swap necessarily implies that Roma rate Torreira higher than Diawara, which, who knows if they do. More likely is a player swap with Arsenal supplementing the deal with a bit of cash.
Diawara would be more than fine consolation should Arsenal miss out on Partey. Simplifying the FootballSlices.com chart below — Diawara is slightly better defensively, Partey is slightly more progressive on attack. And Diawara is 4 years younger than Partey.
As noted above, I don’t think there is much to this link right now, but it’s something we will be keeping an eye on. I think the bigger takeaway here is that there are plenty of alternatives to Thomas Partey out there, some of whom are younger and probably cheaper, too.