It may surprise you that Johan Djourou made his first Arsenal appearance back in the Invincibles year of 2004! He made his professional debut against Manchester City in the League Cup in 2004 and played in the competition several times but didn’t make his Premier League debut till 2006. Almost 10 years on since his first appearance for Arsenal and he has certainly had as inconsistent a career as I have ever known.
There have been times that Djourou has been absolutely hated and slated for everything he does, but there have also been times where he has been the best defender at the club. He has always been a bit part player at the club and featured every now and then over the years of 2006-09 but In 2010 he was one of our better players, performing consistently and being a commanding figure in defence. However since then he has once again dropped back down the pecking order into fourth place and this season he was sent out on loan to Germany, where according to some reports he could stay in a permanent move with Hannover 96.
In some ways I think it’s best for Djourou to leave because it is personally better for him and he deserves to get more playing time, however I don’t feel that it’s possible at Arsenal because once again we need to strengthen across all the main positions ahead of the 2013/14 season.
I like Djourou because he never complains about lack of playing time and is happy to always put in a performance for the team when needed, showing that he is a true professional of the game. This is probably because he has been with Arsenal for so long and has become accustomed to the club, however I think this year he recognised that maybe it was time for him to move on and look for a new club.
Djourou now 26 stated upon arrival in Hannover that he wants to make the move permanent and bring an end to his Arsenal career because he simply wasn’t playing. Like I mentioned it will be a shame to let Djourou leave because with him in the squad we have one of the best back up defenders in the league, however of course a player isn’t necessarily going to be happy with that role and so it’s understandable if he wants to leave.
The latest on Djourou is that he will return to Arsenal for the time being as there was no permanent deal struck with Hannover as of yet. Other clubs are bound to show interest and I think Arsenal could easily command a fee of £5 million for Djourou.