Manchester United are apparently interested in signing former FA Cup winner Lassana Diarra, who after an excellent season for Marseille, is ready to return to the Premier League. The Frenchman who was seen as the next Makelele, has been off the radar for a couple of years now, despite showing huge potential while playing for clubs like Chelsea or Real Madrid. It would be strange to see United pay money for Diarra though who since 2013 played for Anzhi and Lokomitiv Moscow. He has some qualities and there is no doubt about that but could he help the Devils in some way? The answer is somewhere in the middle as you can look at this move from two different sides.
Signing Diarra would bring a plus during those moments when Manchester United need to defend a one goal advantage as he is the kind of box-to-box midfielder who can run for miles without stopping. He has the experience, the aggressive playing style and the professionalism to handle both high pressure matches as well as need-to-win encounters like the ones from the FA Cup knockout stages. He is cheap, he is not that old (31) and he is quite versatile. His excellent season has attracted the attention of PSG as well, a club which is well known for having an almost limitless budget – seeing them interested in the Frenchman says a lot about his form. According to Metro, Diarra is willing to leave this summer so signing him should not be that difficult.
On the other hand, Diarra would not be the only experienced midfielder Manchester would have in their lot. There are also Carrick and Schweinsteiger who are more than capable of doing pretty much the same things as the Frenchman. They have the experience and may only lack stamina when compared with Diarra but other than that, there’s little separating them. Then you have Schneiderlin who cost a lot of money just as Herrera did. Let’s not forget Fellaini who is an excellent defensive player who can also help the attack. Add in Fosu-Mensah who is basically a defensive midfielder and you get 6 players who complete roles very similar to that of Diarra. One may also get concerned with the Frenchman’s physical integrity. He has a bad knee which most of the time is a deal-breaker. It would be better to spend the money that would have ended up in Diarra’s account, to increase Rashford and Borthwick-Jackson’s salaries.