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Who is Ousmane Diomande? Arsenal and Real Madrid target with insane market value rise

The African Cup of Nations is currently showcasing the best talent on the continent and Ousmane Diomande arguably has the biggest potential. The 20-year-old will be integral to Ivory Coast’s prospects and scouts from Premier League giants will have a vested interest. Diomande enjoyed a sensational 2023 after moving to Sporting from FC Midtjylland last January to catch the attention of top clubs. Diomande possesses all the characteristics desired in a modern centre-back – pace, power and comfortable in possession. Portuguese clubs are synonymous with developing prodigiously talented youngsters before selling them for massive profits and Diomande is one of the next starlets on the conveyor belt.

Dimoande’s insane market value development across 2023

Sporting paid Midtjylland €7.50m to sign Diomande in January 2023 after he impressed on-loan at Portuguese second-tier side Mafra during the first half of the season. Danish side Midtjylland have established a hugely successful scouting system in Africa and they acquired the defender from OS Abobo in his homeland. Diomande only spent one year on the books at Midtjylland before he was sold to Lisbon and his market value soared across 2023. He started the year with a market value of just €400k but it increased exponentially to €40m by the end of the calendar year. As illustrated below, Dimonande’s value increase of €39.6m across 2023 was the second-highest of any centre-back behind Chelsea’s Levi Colwill. Sporting Lisbon will hope big European clubs start a bidding war for Diomande’s services and the desired fee will be higher than his current €40m valuation.


How good is Ousamde Diomande?

Diomande only joined Sporting 12 months ago but he’s already one of their best players. Sporting currently lead Benfica by one point at the top of Liga Portugal and Diomande featured in every game before AFCON. The Ivorian’s participation in the tournament combined with Sporting’s reluctance to sell midway through their season means an exit in January is highly unlikely but it’s inevitable in the future as Transfermarkt’s Portuguese expert Marcel de Almeida explains.

“Diomande was an absolute stroke of luck for Sporting,” said Almeida. “Any concerns about the high transfer fee quickly disappeared. At his young age, he is already very calm and strong in tackles and you could already see in his first games that he is a great talent. He has good build-up play and good speed. He has increased his market value quickly. He already has a regular starting place in the Ivorian national team. He probably won’t stay in the Portuguese league for much time, as there are several top European clubs interested. Sporting will make a big transfer profit.

What clubs are interested in signing Ousmande Diomande?

It’s been reported recently that Arsenal and Chelsea have dispatched scouts to watch Diomande at AFCON. But all major European clubs will have a presence at the tournament and the Sporting starlet will be on their radars. Manchester United are in the market for a centre-back in the summer and they’ve also been strongly linked with having an interest in Diomande, as have Newcastle United. Reports in Spain have also claimed that Real Madrid are monitoring the situation.

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