Foot Mercato revealed last week that Arsenal were battling Premier League rivals Leicester City and Ligue 1 side Strasbourg to sign Valenciennes wonderkid Ismael Doukoure.
The centre-half, despite only being 17 years old, has played 17 games for Valenciennes’ senior side already this season. He is one of the most exciting defensive prospects of his age in France at the moment, and it looks like he will soon make the jump to a bigger club.
Compared to Dayot Upamecano mainly due to his nationality, position and his affiliation to Valenciennes, Doukoure is attracting a ton of interest from some of the biggest clubs in the world.
La Voix Du Nord revealed yesterday that the likes of Barcelona, AS Roma, Juventus, Benfica and Arsenal among other clubs are all monitoring the young defender, and if the report is to be believed, he will be available for a very affordable fee this summer.
The report claims that Valenciennes president Eddy Zdziech would be open to letting his wonderkid leave for a fee between £5.2 million and £6.9 million before the start of the season.
That is about the same price as what we paid for Gabriel Martinelli and Matteo Guendouzi, and it is safe to say that both of those players’ values have gone up massively since they joined us.
The Insider’s View:
Doukoure is nowhere near ready to play in the first-team of a top-flight club. However, he is extremely talented and people who watch him regularly believe that he can go on to be as good as Upamecano.
The RB Leipzig defender, who will soon don Bayern Munich’s colours, is one of the best defenders in the world, and it is no surprise that the German champions have forked out £37 million to sign him. (Goal)
Doukoure could well follow the same path in five years time. If Edu and co really like him, signing him for about £5 million this summer would be a very smart bit of business – just like the deals for Martinelli and Guendouzi were in recent years.