When you think of a typical Arsene Wenger signing, what tends to come to mind? You’re not likely to think of Wenger spending big bucks on proven talent. The players he likes to sign tend to be under 26-years-old, cheap and they’re usually names that you’ve never heard before. And yes, quite often they’re French.
Well, as if by chance, Arsenal’s latest transfer link plays exactly into this set of standards. According to The Metro, Arsenal are looking to sort out a deal for Caen forward M’Baye Niang. He’s just 17-years-old. He was born in Meulan, France. He’s valued at around £5m. Typical.
Although not as typical as you may think. Caen value this youngster highly and are looking to raise the deal to £9m through a series of add-ons and bonuses. They’ve also noted that they’re are keen to keep hold of him. Caen coach Patrice Garande told the Press last week:
“What I say in relation to him is simple, he has talent – yes, does he have the potential to make a career – yes. But is he doing the right thing for this at the moment – no.”
Interesting comments and I can’t help but wonder if there’s a hidden agenda here. Garande is clearly desperate to keep hold of the youngster and looking to persuade him by presenting Caen as a better career option. But is this really the case?
Arsene Wenger is famous for knowing how to develop young talent. There are very few managers across Europe that can equal his success rate. Arsenal are also known for their willingness to give young talent a chance (sometimes at their expense of their own success!) There are plenty of young French players at Arsenal, so it’s not like he’d struggle to fit in. Indeed, I think he’d thrive at the Emirates.
But perhaps it would be best for all if Arsenal signed Niang on a long-term contract before loaning the player back to Caen. The Gunners are unlikely to be able to offer a 17-year-old much first team football and it’s probably best for the youngster that he plays as regularly as possible. Caen are desperate to keep hold of him for as long as possible. This solution looks like a win-win!
What’s your take? Would Niang be a good signing for Arsenal? Would he make an immediate impact?
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