Arsenal: Arteta interested in Ismael Doukoure

Image for Arsenal: Arteta interested in Ismael Doukoure

Arsenal have joined a host of top European clubs showing interest in RC Strasbourg’s Ismael Doukoure, as per 90min.

What’s the latest on Arsenal’s interest in Isamael Doukoure?

The Gunners, alongside Newcastle United, have been tracking the 19-year-old since last year and have been impressed with what they have seen.

As well as the two Premier League clubs, it is believed that Paris Saint-Germain, Atalanta and Sevilla are also tracking the player.

The former Valenciennes defender is currently representing France at U20 level in Marbella, Spain – where it is believed that almost every Premier League club has sent scouts to watch.

How would Doukoure fit into the north London side?

The €3m-rated (£2.5m) titan has shown in Ligue 1 this season that he has the versatility that is commonly found within Mikel Arteta’s defenders.

Doukoure has played at both centre-back and right-back, just as versatile Gunners star Ben White has across the last two seasons, with him impressing in either position too.

Particularly, the right-footed defender shone against PSG star Kylian Mbappe. Despite France’s new skipper scoring an injury-time winner, it’s thought – as per the report – that the way in which Doukoure combated the World Cup Golden Boot winner was impressive. 

General view outside the stadium before the match

The 19-year-old, who was once dubbed “highly-talented” by scout Jacek Kulig, would enter the Gunners’ defence at a time where there is great stability with William Saliba and Gabriel the standout choices. Although the former is injured now, common procedure with the former Saint-Etienne defender in the starting XI is likely to resume when he is fit.

This means that, just like new-signing Jakub Kiwior, Doukoure may find it hard to break into the side, but he would have two top-quality centre-backs to partner with. The 5 foot 11 machine has had a strong season in Ligue 1, with WhoScored giving an average match rating of 6.55, and his underlying statistics demonstrate this clearly.

As per FBref, Doukoure ranks within the top 18% for progressive carries, the top 21% for progressive passes and the top 1% for successful take-ons. These show that the France U20 international has all the characteristics for Arteta to mould him into an Arsenal centre-back that can impress within the Premier League as well.

Despite the competition that the Gunners may face from Europe’s elite making a potential transfer difficult, particularly the Saudi-backed clubs, such as Newcastle and PSG, signing Doukoure would give the Premier League leaders better depth heading into the Champions League for next season.

The 19-year-old’s performances this season have demonstrated why some of the biggest clubs in Europe are after him, and the Gunners should be in pursuit of the Strasbourg defender too.

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