Who will partner Fabregas next season – Gilberto, Diaby, Ramsey?

The departure of Flamini to AC Milan eariler this summer was undoubtedly a blow for Arsenal FC. Last season he went from being a squad player, to one of the most influential figures in midfield and forged an excellent partnership with Fabregas.

Now he has left the void has to be filled. Gooners were probably hoping Arsenal would sign a new defensive midfielder to partner Cesc, but that’s not likely now, Wenger seems to be focusing more on the wings, which were a problem area for us last season.

In the centre of we have the option of Gilberto or Diaby, and also Song, Denilson or even Ramsey. The best defensive candidates are Gilberto and Diaby.

Gilberto – already having played the role for a few years prior to Flamini’s emergence has the experience and quality. The problem is he looked poor last season when he did get a few chances to impress, and his passing is always up to scratch. He plays a diffferent game to that of Flamini, tending to hold back, whereas Flamini is always in the oppositions faces.

Gilberto would be a sensible choice to start with as a defensive midfielder, but I don’t think he is good enough anymore to warrant a staring place.

Abou Diaby is my choice. He is a strong and fast player, with a lot of height. We used him on the wing last season, and he got a few goals. The main problem with him is that he is inconsistent – and can be lazy.

Diaby has great qualities for the role though, he is defensive, but very good going forward – his pace, passing and ball control mean that he would be a great partner for Cesc, and he is a long term option.

If he can up his work rate and consistency then he could have a chance, I would love to see Wenger try him out next season.

There are other contenders – Denilson, I think isn’t ready for that sort of role. Ramsey – more suited to the wings, and Song – Wenger thinks that he will better used in defence.

So we start the season with a first team spot up for grabs, we just need to see who takes it.

What do you think – is there anyone I’ve missed – or do you think we should be signing a new central midfielder?

UPDATE 11 JULY 2008: Is Gilberto going? Rumours are he is going to Panathaniakos…

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12 thoughts on “Who will partner Fabregas next season – Gilberto, Diaby, Ramsey?

  1. edzarinho

    I would like to see someone that has aggression and good passing. That will be good defensive midfielder for us.

  2. Yeah Diaby looks a bit lazy sometimes for me too, but I think he or Denilson will be able to do the job with a little bit of practice in that role. Hopefully preseason will help us clear up what’s going to happen at that spot.

  3. If it’s an in-house promotion then Diaby has to be the main choice, although Toure has the required attributes, but would leave a massive void at the back – another area I doubt we’ll be investing in for.

    I personally agree that we’ll spend on the wings more than anywhere, and that Diaby will be the main choice. Maybe Gilberto will get a shot, but as much as he is a model professional, I think he’s a little past the standard we need to occupy that position.

    In an ideal world we’d be looking at someone like Veloso or Yaya Toure and whilst there is still a chance the latter could be involved in the proposed Hleb deal, I think it’s most likely we’ll see no one come in.

  4. weedonald

    Looking at the current crop of midfield players Arsenal have (17 +/-) it is apparent that Wenger’s choices are enormous. My guess is that he will start with Gilberto, if that doesn’t work out, he will use Diaby and if that doesn’t fly, he will slot in some of the youngsters (Ramsey, Denilson, Song etc.)
    Unfortunately Wenger has to use some of the cash he had reserved for new signings to placate the existing stars who want what Flamini got…this limits his new purchase options. Samir Nasri could play in midfield, and if he can sign Yaya Toure…problem solved.

  5. Great comments guys.

    I’d have to agree with you, signing a ready-made replacement would be great, but there are players within the squad who would be able to walk straight in and perform.

    Wenger has faith in his team so it will be someone like Diaby or Gilberto who gets a chance.

  6. Baz

    Djourou anyone? He is quick and powerful. I don;t think he is reliable enough for CB.

    If Bert stays, he will start. Diaby or Denilson are capable of playing there as well.

  7. diceman1984

    For me guys, we need to buy someone.

    This is not to say anything bad to our current midfielders.

    I love Denilson. He’s not a compliment to Cesc though, they’re both great and have same abilities.

    Gilberto is solid but to old for me. Arsenal’s game today require quickness in both physical and decision-making areas. He’s a great substitute to have though.

    Diaby will be great also but Wenger always threw him on the left! I can’t recall seeing him play at center midfield at all. Although he’s got the talents and wits (the next Vieira?), I’m not sure about him yet. He could be great or he could be average, I hope he’ll be great.

    But I do know that there are better players that Flamini who compliment Cesc’s style out there. I just don’t know if we’ll get them or Wenger will buy them.

    It’s impossible but if we could get Essien in there then we got a pair!!! hahaha.

    It’s sad that the sure starter fot next season can’t wait for his opportunity………..someone named Lassana Diarra! He could be great if he would only waited 6 months!!!

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