The Swiss international spent the 2013/14 campaign at the Imtech Arena on loan, but has now made a full-time switch in the bid for regular, first-team football, as Arsenal's official Twitter feed revealed:
The 27-year-old made 144 appearances for Arsenal during his time in north London, but with chances of playing time decreasing as the club’s defensive quality improved, moving on appears the intelligent solution.
Djourou hasn’t donned the famous red shirt for many a season now, but was once a big part of Arsene Wenger’s plans. The club released a statement thanking him for his lengthy contribution to their cause, per Arsenal’s official website:
“Arsenal Football Club can confirm that Johan Djourou has made his move to Hamburg permanent. Everyone at Arsenal would like to thank Johan for his contribution to the club and wish him continued success with Hamburg.”
While a useful squad player at times, Djourou’s time at Arsenal isn’t one decorated in glory. Sportlobster Football suggested that his best moment in a Gunners shirt came via a clumsy, accidental nutmeg:
Johan Djourou’s career highlight at Arsenal: https://t.co/LMymwdN5o2— SportlobsterFootball (@Football_SL) August 7, 2014
All the attention of the transfer window at Arsenal has been of players coming in, but Djourou’s departure could be the beginning of a defensive exodus for the club.
With club captain Thomas Vermaelen seemingly on the way out, too, per Sky Sports, the Gunners will need to act quickly to bring in some cover at the back.
Liverpool’s Daniel Agger is the answer according to reports in the star’s native Denmark, via Teddy Cutler of The Independent, and his arrival at Djourou and Vermaelen’s expense wouldn’t exactly be the worst piece of business for Wenger and Co.
As for Djourou, the chance to return to the spotlight of top-class football now presents itself with Hamburg, and he’ll be determined to take the chance with a lot of playing years still to come.
He performed impressively in the World Cup with Switzerland, and if he brings such form to the Bundesliga once again, he’ll be able to show Wenger exactly what he’s missing.