Gunners fourth choice centre-back Johan Djourou has not had contact with Roma according to his agent, however he has expressed a desire to play in Italy, which come sooner than expected if things do not change at the Emirates.
The Swiss international has not managed to feature for the Gunners first team in the Premier League this season as he has fallen down the pecking order behind mainstays Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Koscielny. Despite signing a new contract last season, the 25-year-old may seek an exit from North London as early as January.
Rumours have been gathering steam that Roma are keen on his services, however his agent has put an end to the speculation by clarifying there has been no contact with the Italian side and Djourou will remain with the Gunners for now.
His agent Flavio Ferraria told calciomercato.it.
There has been absolutely no contact with Roma and I don’t know where these rumours have come from. I met Johan recently, but we did not talk about Roma because there’s really nothing to say.
There is no real possibility that he will leave Arsenal as he is contracted to them until 2015. However, we will evaluate the current situation in January.
Obviously he would like to play in Italy because we have discussed this several times before, but he hasn’t a preference for any specific club. I think he would do very well at Roma because he is young and versatile and the most important thing is that he wants to play with continuity.
Djourou is a quality backup central defender that can potentially be useful for the Gunners. To call on him during Capital One Cup matches and FA Cup fixtures will be vital for maintaining the first choice defenders freshness, and if we suffer an injury crisis that could occur at any second (touch-wood) then he is more than capable at filling in.
However there is Miquel, a talented young Spaniard that is itching for first team appearances and is now down to fifth in the pecking order with all of the first choice backs essentially fit. Therefore it will not be an issue if Djourou is sold come January or next summer to allow Miquel to gain more experience, however having a fourth choice international-grade defender is brilliant and something not all clubs have (ie. Manchester United who have had to use Carrick at the back).
So either way it’s a win-win! What are your thoughts? Do you think Djourou should be kept at the Emirates for as long as possible incase we have a injury crisis or is time to part ways with the Swiss international that has been with us for eight years?
Feel free to comment below or in Djourou’s rumour thread in the allArsenal forums.