Date:Saturday September 20 2008
Harry Redknapp has told today's Mirror that he believes Lassana Diarra is a better all-round player than the legendary Claude Makelele: 'when Diarra first came here people said he was a Makelele. He isn't a Makelele because he has another dimension to his game.
'He goes with the ball, beats people and surges. He has got everything. He is a player right up there with the best midfielders in the world.
'He is an unbelievable athlete, with amazing power and strength. And he can do amazing things with the ball.'
To be honest I have not really ever seen Diarra as a Makelele type player, defensively Makelele is one of the greatest players of his type but offensively he offered little or nothing for most of his career, Diarra offers so much in this area but also does more than his fair share of defensive work - he is here, there and every where!
Whilst the fella is still relatively young at 23, my thinking is that he can only get better and better - and he has been outstanding this season so far! The better he is, and the more he performs as he has been so far this season the harder it will be to keep him though which is the major drawback.
January is going to be a major test of our resolve. My thinking is that he will not be seeking a move away as he knows he will play every week, he is the key component of our side, the fans worship him, we can offer him football at the right end of the table and most importantly - something he might be concerned about - his playing for Pompey is not seeing him miss out on selection for France at international level, so unless a Madrid, Milan, Barcelona or so on come in for him I cannot see him wanting to go, and maybe, just maybe at this point in his career it would not be 'nailed on' that he would even go just yet...
My biggest fear is that it will be us looking to cash in on him, and this could see us accept a big offer - but again this would not necessarily mean he would want to go even if we did!
Either way, lets enjoy these good times with him here whilst we can, but also all keep out fingers crossed that we can keep him until at least the end of the season, as if we can if he carries on pulling the strings anything could be possible this season...
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Date:Saturday September 20 2008
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