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Diarra, Lassana (2005-2007)


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Lassana Diarra (2005-2007)

Written by Alan in June 2007

diarra%20at%20havre.gif Chelsea signed Diarra from Le Harve in the Summer of 2005, although this is debateable as he looks spookily like his mentor Claude Makelele. Many allege that Roman cloned Maka and the result was Lassana.

Conspiracies aside, Diarra came from Le Harve for 4 million Euros in 2005 and made his first team debut against Real Betis in the Champions League. He made his first start in the FA Cup tie against Huddersfield and was impressive. Overall in the 05/06 season, Lassana was limited mostly to occasional appearances off the bench, but did start our final two games against Blackburn and Newcastle, when we had the league wrapped up.

The 06/07 season was to prove to be Lassana's breakthrough season. The season started like the previous one, occasional appearances from the bench. Lassana's future at Chelsea looked bleak when he turned up late for a team meeting before the game against Macclesfield and was subsequently not included on the team sheet, with Frank Lampard taking his place.

diarra%20feb%202007.jpg Then Mourinho tried something against Wycombe. He put Diarra in a right back, and again he put in a steady performance. This led to Diarra getting a run in the side and he started our 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Carling Cup Final, and he didn't look out of place. The crowd began to chant Diarra's name and he began to become a regular fixture in the starting line up.

Diarra would go on to start some of Chelsea's most important games, including both legs of the Champions League ties against Porto and Valencia. His final appearance of the season was in the 0-0 draw against Man United at Stamford Bridge. He was an unused substitute in our FA Cup Final win against the same team 10 days later.

diarra%20against%20valencia%20cl%20april As well as breaking through at club level, Lassana also broke into the French senior side, and made his debut against Lithuania. He played alongside Makelele and put in a good performance.

Despite emerging as an option at right back, Lassana's undoubtedly better in midfield, mainly in the Makelele role. He is a very tenacious player. Just like a little terrier, the bar steward just doesn't go away and keeps snapping at your heels. Unlike Maka, he isn't shy from taking the occasional long range shot, but has yet to score for Chelsea. At 22, Lassana looks to have a bright future ahead of him, and can only improve by playing and training with the likes of Makelele, Lampard and Ballack. During pre-season for the 2007/08 there were rumours that Makelele wont be at the club next season, which would give Lassana even more first team opportunities however those turned out to be false. What actually happened was Maka signed a new one year contract and at the last minute on transfer deadline day (August 31st, 2007) a deal was struck to take Diarra to Arsenal for an undisclosed sum. It seemed a little strange that we should let such a promising talent go to one of our direct rivals.

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