Johan Djourou is reportedly about to leave the club.
There's been lots of talk about Johan Djourou's imminent departure, with the rumours sort of confirmed by Arsene Wenger in his pre-match press conference. That he is off to Hannover seems to be agreed upon by all of the rumours linking him away from the club, but, it has, thus far, remained unclear whether Djourou is leaving permanently, or on a loan, or on a loan with an option to buy.
Some light has been shed on that situation by Djourou himself, who was apparently speaking to Swiss Football site ootball.ch (sidenote: The Swiss domain code comes from the Latin name of the country, Confoederatio Helvetica, so the more you know!). There, he said in French that the deal is only a 6-month loan with no option to buy, and something about his contract running out in 2015, etc etc, standard footballer fare.
Here's the translated stuff:
"I joined the club who wanted me the most," explains the man who celebrates his 26th birthday in 15 days. "At my age, the priority is to play regularly. To do this, I did not hesitate to refuse offers most exclusive clubs and make important financial efforts. "This fall, he had to settle for two games of the League Cup and nine presences bench (six in the league and three in the Champions League).
Despite this loan for six months (without option), Arsenal still relies on Johan Djourou in the future. Both parties remain bound by contract until 2015. Their success story has continued since the fall of 2003 (six months apart in Birmingham). Altogether, it totals 134 official matches with the "Gunners": 86 in the Premier League, 21 in the Champions League, 17 in the League Cup and FA Cup 10. (db)
With Djourou, Sebastien Squillaci and Ignasi Miquel all rumoured to leave this January in some form (Squillaci permanently, Miquel on a loan), Arsenal will be left with only 3 centre backs. With no Alex Song to play centre back, this leaves the Gunners dangerously short unless they buy another defender. With Djourou apparently returning, a defender that can play defensive midfield and or right back/left back would make lots of sense, and Arsenal have been linked with two of those in recent weeks: Mapou Yanga-Mbwia, and Etienne Capoue.