Portsmouth team-mates love their ‘young Makelele with pace’

Lassana Diarra wasn’t exactly complimentary about Portsmouth when he signed from Arsenal earlier this month, yet that hasn’t stopped the midfielder from receiving the plaudits from team-mates after a goal and fine all-round performance in his team’s 2-1 victory over Plymouth on Saturday. The Daily Mail reports that at least the Frenchman can finally start to feel appreciated at a Premier League club, albeit a ‘smaller’ one!

‘I know him from when were together at Chelsea,’ said Glen Johnson said: ‘He didn’t suffer it as long as I did but he has been down pretty much the same road as me.

‘We are happy to have him here and it is good for him to be playing every week. He is brilliant. He is like a young Makelele with pace.’

‘Chelsea and Arsenal don’t go for players who don’t have quality,’ reasoned Niko Kranjcar. ‘You don’t play for the Under 21s or the senior French team if you are not a quality player.

‘You take a step at a time in your career but your final goal is always to get as high as you can and do everything you can to achieve that.’

Will Diarra’s Fratton Park career be short-lived or will he still be a Pompey player this time next season? At least Harry Redknapp has a quality international player for the next few months as his club bid to land a UEFA Cup qualification place.

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