Most people expected Arsenal to feel the loss of Robin van Persie this season. The Dutchman was not just our best player and top scorer, he was the best in the whole Premier league. Many Arsenal fans, however, worried more about how the loss of Alex Song to Barcelona was going to affect the team.
The problem is, Arsene Wenger replaced van Persie with Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. There will be differences of opinion as to whether they are good enough, I personally think they have lots of potential but it may take time to be realised. Arsenal did not replace Song, however. Wenger pushed Mikel Arteta further back and relied on his ball playing skills and awareness to do the job.
To be fair, it seemed to be a genius move at the start of the season, but it is not working anymore. Opposing teams are putting more pressure on Arteta, and he is being asked to do too much in a role which he is not ideally suited for. Arsenal need a strong, energetic and tough defensive midfielder, and there is one just across London.
Mohamed Diame is stalling on extending his contract with West Ham. When he signed for the Hammers this summer, there was a release clause put into his contract, believed to be around £6 million. The 25-year old has been fantastic for Allardyce’s side this season and was a major factor in West Ham’s comeback and win against Chelsea at the weekend.
Not only is he the kind of player that Arsenal need in the middle of the pitch to give us some grit, he knows the Premier league and is a bargain. Could he be the player that we want, Gooners?