Tuesday, June 25, 2024
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Chelsea & Arsenal target Ousmane Diomande SHINES with stunning performance on transfer audition

Ousmane Diomande, Sporting CP, 2023/24

Arsenal and Chelsea would have been keeping a close eye on Sporting CP’s Liga Portugal encounter with Arouca on Sunday, and the scouts would have come away more than satisfied with what they had seen.

The Gunners might principally have been watching striker Viktor Gyokeres, the player who seems to be at the top of their No.9 wish list, but like the Blues would have been monitoring Ousmane Diomande, too.

Indeed, the Ivory Coast centre-back turned in an eye-catching performance as Sporting kept a clean sheet.

The final score undervalues just how vital the defensive display of the 20-year-old, who is under contract until 2027, was. The match was still only 1-0 in Sporting’s favour moving into stoppage time at the end of the game. Arouca even exerted more pressure than their guests, managing 12 shots.

Diomande was a rock, though.

The centre-back won 100% of his nine duels, gave possession away on only three occasions and won eight tackles. Putting that last figure into context, no one else on his side won claimed more than two tackles, while he was the only defender who was not dribbled at all.

Known as a ball-playing defender, Diomande only enhanced his reputation with this display and did his chances of moving to Arsenal or Chelsea no harm.

Gyokeres scores again

Arsenal, meanwhile, would have followed another promising display from Gyokeres, who scored the opener from close range in the first half. Later, he added an assist to his tally.

The Sweden international led the line expertly for his side. Combative and bustling at times when required in the No.9 role, he showed himself to be an alternative type of player for Arteta’s side, who are without a natural centre-forward, despite the recent resurgence of Kai Havertz and the technical excellence of Gabriel Jesus.

The competition for Gyokeres in the transfer market is expected to be fierce, given his form and profile.

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