On loan Johan Djourou enjoying mixed fortunes in the Bundesliga

Johann Djourou

How is Arsenal loanee Johan Djourou getting on in Germany?

If there was a player desperate to leave Arsenal in January, then it was Johan Djourou, who sealed his loan move just five days into the January transfer window.

He joined Hannover 96, where he plays alongside former Manchester United striker Mame Biram Diouf.

Swiss defender Djourou had good reason for being keen to leave the Gunners, the centre-back had not played a single minute for his club in the Premier League all season.

He had made two appearances in the League Cup, his last appearance being the game against Reading which saw the Gunners ship five goals and still go onto win.

Djourou's debut for Hannover was also a defensive disaster of similar proportions. He played all 90 minutes of their defeat in a 5-4 loss to a Lewis Holtby inspired Schalke, and looked particularly rusty.

Since then he has retained his place, making nine starts in total for his club.

However fix a leaky defence, Djourou has not. Hannover have only kept two clean sheets out of a possible nine with Djourou playing, but none since the 1-0 win over Heurelho Gomes' Hoffenheim on February 9.

Any hopes he had of Europa League glory quickly went out the window too with a 4-2 elimination and aggregate loss to Anzhi Machachkala.

A look at the statistics tells a mixed story, with Djourou lagging behind his teammates when it comes to tackles and interceptions made per match, but he tops the rankings in blocked shots, making more per game than any other Hannover player.

His most recent game was a clash against Dortmund, with Hannover soundly beaten 3-1. He cleared a shot off the line from reported Gunners target Mario Gotze, but couldn't stop his side losing and struggled up against Robert Lewandowski. The match also saw Djourou substituted for the first time in his Hannover spell.

It hasn't been all bad though, only the game before Hannover enjoyed a thumping 5-1 win over Rafael van der Vaart's Hamburg, and sit in 10th position. They are one of the Bundesliga's most unpredictable clubs, a danger to most sides, but inconsistent, and this is having an effect on his own form.

Djourou won't mind too much, as at least he is getting some form to speak of. He had spent a whole year practically sitting on Arsenal's bench, a big concern to his international manager, Switzerland boss Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Now he is back playing again he can begin building from there, and if he can ensure Hannover stay happy with him, there is every chance they will make Arsenal an offer to snap him up.

He has not forgotten who his main employers are either. Here is a tweet he sent before the North London Derby last weekend:

The result won't have left him happy, and it's clear he will remain with much affection for the Gunners. However come the summer, his time at the club will surely be up when he is moved on permanently.

Now he has to build on his first nine games which have allowed him to recover his match fitness and build from there, and that means helping tighten Hannover's leaky backline.

How much do you expect Arsenal will sell Djourou for this summer?

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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