Stade de Reims v Valenciennes FC - French Cup
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According to a report from Foot Mercato, Arsenal are battling third-placed Premier League rivals Leicester City and Ligue 1 side Strasbourg to sign Valenciennes wonderkid Ismael Doukoure.

The Gunners have always been the favourites to sign exceptional talents from France thanks to Arsene Wenger’s incredible network. The legendary Frenchman’s departure made many people think that we had lost our magic, but that hasn’t been the case.

Arsenal signed Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba in the two summer windows after Wenger left. Both players are huge talents and it looks like we’re trying to sign another one in the upcoming transfer window.


Stade de Reims v Valenciennes FC - French Cup
Photo by John Berry/Getty Images

Doukoure, still only 17 years old, has already made 15 senior appearances for Valenciennes this term. The youngster has been compared to RB Leipzig and soon-to-be Bayern Munich star Dayot Upamecano, which is a huge compliment.

Wenger’s former club Strasbourg have reportedly made an approach to sign the fantastic young talent already, but the report claims that Arsenal and Leicester are keeping a close eye as well.

The Foxes’ summer recruitment of Wesley Fofana has been a huge success. The young Frenchman has been one of the signings of the season, and Brendan Rodgers is looking to make Doukoure his next big find. That could complicate things for Arsenal.

Leicester City v Fulham - Premier League
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The Insider’s View:

When Wenger was still at the helm, if Arsenal wanted a talented young Frenchman, we would more often than not get him. Things, however, have changed over the last year or so.

Mikel Arteta’s treatment of William Saliba has been heavily criticised. The young Frenchman has publicly expressed his frustration on more than one occasion as well, which would certainly have caught other youngsters’ attention.

Doukoure, 17, would have seen the difference in progression of Saliba and Fofana since they made their respective moves. That could well tempt him to prefer a move to Leicester City over Arsenal, which would be a real shame.

Arsenal v Chelsea - FA Cup Final
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