Sporting Lisbon’s Ousmane Diamonde, a defender, caught the attention of Arsenal scouts during the winter African Cup of Nations, according to A Bola.
Given that they have the second-fewest goals conceded (21) and the most clean sheets (8), one could say that Arsenal’s defence is at its best right now.
To bolster his central defensive unit, Mikel Arteta is still searching for a top centre back, albeit he is not entirely sure. Arsenal has been connected to a number of elite centre backs, including Diamonde.
So, who exactly is Ousmane Diamonde?
Diamonde, a 20-year-old Ivory Coast defender, is making a name for himself in Europe as a result of his stellar play in the defence of Sporting Lisbon.
He’s a solid passer who likes to dribble and tackle, according to WhoScored. He has made 21 appearances for Sporting Lisbon this season and scored twice.
Since last summer, when their £30 million deal was rejected, according to Portuguese publication Record, Arsenal has been linked to the player. Arsenal has continued to scout him at Sporting and with his national team, so it doesn’t seem that the rejected bid has deterred them.
There will be competition for the Gunners, though, as there are other clubs expressing interest. It is also known, according to A Bola, that Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, and Juventus sent scouts to observe him compete in the AFCON.
Any action won’t happen until the summer, and there will be intense rivalry to sign him. According to the article, Diomande has a release clause worth £69 million, and considering how many elite teams are interested, Sporting will want to receive the full amount.
He has started the first two of Ivory Coast’s AFCON matches thus far. After overcoming Senegal on penalties in the round of 16, the Elephants will take on Mali in the quarterfinals, and Diamonde is anticipated to be a key player.