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Tuesday 14 August 2012

New player factfile #13: QPR's Samba Diakite

The combative Malian is back to provide more solidity to QPR's midfield

  • Samba Diakite started out in Ligue 1 with AS Nancy

  • The midfielder made 41 appearances in Ligue 1 for the northern French side

  • Diakite made his international bow for Mali at the African Cup of Nations in January

  • He joined QPR the following month and scored in a 2-1 win over Arsenal in March

  • The 23-year-old's dynamic displays convinced QPR to sign him on a permanent deal

In the 13th of our profiles on this season's Barclays Premier League newcomers, premierleague.com takes a look at a tough-tackling midfielder who has drawn comparisons with a young Patrick Vieira after a successful loan spell last season.

Samba Diakite

Club: Queens Park Rangers
Nationality: Malian
Position: Defensive midfielder
DOB: 24/01/89   
Age: 23
Height: 6ft 1in
Transfer fee: Undisclosed
Fantasy Premier League transfer fee: £4.5m
Contracted: Until June 2016
Previous clubs: AS Nancy (2007-12; loaned to QPR 2012)
League appearances: 41 (Ligue 1), 9 (Barclays Premier League)
League goals: 1 (Ligue 1), 1 (Barclays Premier League)
International appearances: 5
International goals:
0

Profile: A tenacious midfielder, Diakite initially joined QPR on loan in January before sealing a permanent move this summer. Despite getting sent off on his debut, he quickly adapted to English football and produced a series of impressive performances, with the highlight being the winning goal against Arsenal at Loftus Road. Mark Hughes will hope he has a similar impact in the coming season.

He says: "I loved my time here on loan and I couldn't be happier to join QPR on a permanent deal. It's a fantastic club to play for and the owners have great plans for the future - I am just delighted to be part of it. This is a really exciting move for me."

They say: "He reminds me a little of Patrick Vieira. He's a powerful midfielder who is technically sound, has good ball control and although he doesn't have an exceptional passing range he has a fantastic engine and is capable of going past players." (Matthew Spiro, Ligue 1 football reporter)

Interesting stat: Diakite received six yellow cards and one red card in nine Barclays Premier League appearances last season.

Did you know? His QPR debut lasted just 33 minutes as he was sent off for two bookable offences.

New player factfile #1: Marko Marin
New player factfile #2: Fabio Borini
New player factfile #3: Jan Vertonghen
New player factfile #4: Jay Fernandez
New player factfile #5: Mladen Petric
New player factfile #6: Michu
New player factfile #7: Shinji Kagawa
New player factfile #8: Modibo Maiga
New player factfile #9: Ivan Ramis
New player factfile #10: Ron Vlaar
New player factfile #11: Santi Cazorla
New player factfile #12: Yassine El Ghanassy

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Key Points

  • Samba Diakite came through the ranks at Nancy
  • Midfielder impressed when on loan at Loftus Road last season
  • The 23-year-old will add steel to QPR's midfield