Wenger: I didn’t let Djourou leave because I love him as a player

| September 9, 2012 | 16 Comments

Arsene Wenger has revealed that he did not let Swiss international Johan Djourou, 25, leave this summer as he simply ‘loves him as a player’.

There was talk of an exit by the defender after he was told by Swiss coach Ottmar Hitzfeld that he was simply not getting the game-time required to verify a place in the national team, but a move never eventuated.

The Swiss defender is definitely not a fan favourite amongst most Gooners, but this is likely to further irk the fans who have called for his departure for some time now.

Wenger is quoted as saying by Sky Sport News:

I didn’t let Djourou leave as I love him as a player, and he loves the club.

While Djourou is obviously not starting centre-back material, I do think that he is at the right level for a fourth choice centre-back in the Premier League and could yet improve under the tutelage of Steve Bould.

We saw last season that Djourou also possesses some versatility playing at right-back for the Gunners when Arsenal suffered an injury crisis in the full-back positions.

Admittedly he has had some howlers in the past, but he has also had some good performances, both of which would be somewhat expected by a fourth-choice center-back. It is simply crazy to think that we could attract someone like M’Biwa and just have him sitting on the bench ‘just in case’.

Overall, in terms of talent and skill level, I think it is fair to say that the Swiss international does possess the ability required of his current position in the squad. In terms of wage however, I definitely agree that his role does not justify £50,000 a week and is no doubt the reason why fans give him a torrid time.

What do you guys think of Djourou? Do you think he fulfils his role in the team adequately? Feel free to leave a comment below or discuss Djourou in the allArsenal.com forum.

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Category: Arsenal News, News Feed

  • Eljerol

    So he let Song go because he does not like him, what a revelation?

  • http://starfirepublishing.co.uk Michael Staley

    Arsenal are being restructured, and Song did’t figure in Wenger’s plans any more. Why is that so difficult to grasp? Not exactly rocket-science, is it?

  • Chris Redmond

    It is true that Djourou has had some howlers, particularly when played at right-back, but our defensive record with Djourou in the team two years ago was hugely impressive. I don’t remember the precise statistics, but whenever Djourou was paired with Koscielny or even Schillaci, we invariably kept clean sheets. And let’s not forget that he missed an entire season (2009-2010) through injury. I like him as a player, and as fourth-choice centre-back, I think we could do an awful lot worse.

    • chris from Cambridge

      I believe the truth is that Wenger tried to shift him and Djourou tried to go but is paid too much already. (Why else was Wenger so near to signing Vertonghen ?) Similarly we tried to sell Bendtner and couldn’t. Hence Arsene may be putting the best face on it … in the event that Bendtner will return some time.

  • http://yahoo brian

    i agree with arsene keep djourou

  • Jc

    Just goes to show that Wenger is allowing his personal emotions to cloud his proffesional judgement!

  • James

    What an idiot.

  • stephen wheeler

    he is rubbish and cost us a fulham game on his own when things were going good. From that game we went on to mess up in all four trophys. I worry when he plays. He may have looked good as a youngster but at 25 he is fourth choice i would rather have mertsacker vermalen tutouring hot younster for first team in few years. 50k no f***ing way.

  • benm125

    for all the up coming cup and champions league games it will be good to have him around, so are first team centre halfs can have a break but for the wages he is on we may aswell get rid no club should be paying there forth choice centre half 60k a week :/

  • Daja

    To be fair djourou is like marmite u either hate or love it he has had good n bad games but the fact is his bad games where a result of him playing after injury I.e his shoulder surjury he was not fully fit but he gave a 100% for the club plus th fact that he specks 7 differ lanquages fluently he translates for wenger during training

    • chris from Cambridge

      How long ago was Djourou’s last good game … in central defence. Perhaps it was for Switzerland ??

  • Superstar

    Then loan him out!!!!! Tooo long. Been way too long for him.

    How to inspire someone to perform when they know they have a safety net!

  • http://starfirepublishing.co.uk Michael Staley

    James says: “What an idiot.”

    That’s a penetrating analysis, James; lots of food for thought there. Thanks for taking the time to share.

  • Bill


  • frank

    Djourou is a very good defender wenger is very rite to keep him as a 4th choice defender with bould in charge of defence his performance wil definetly improve sure

  • Kalebd63

    I think that the slate should be wiped clean for Djouru as it is obvious that defensive coaching is not Wengers forte. I have seen major defensive howlers by all of our defenders, Vermarin being one of the biggest culprits but Arsenal fans aren’t ready to crucify him? Bouldy will sort him out, he’s young,there’s room to learn!