Arsenal and Leicester looking to raid another young centre-back from France

Arsenal interested in Ligue 2 star


Arsenal and Leicester City are looking at Valenciennes center-back Ismael Doukoure, according to FootMercato.

Valued at a third of a million, the 17-year-old has already made 15 appearances in his breakthrough season in Ligue 2.

His ball-playing abilities, aerial prowess and pace sets him away from his peers. France have already made some excellent players in defensive positions with Raphael Varane and Clement Lenglet being the big names.

While Wesley Fofana and William Saliba look to be the next generation to take the torch from their seniors.

Fofana’s stock has rapidly increased since he moved to the Premier League last season. Many were surprised at the money Leicester spent on a raw youngster from France.

But it didn’t take long for him to prove the naysayers wrong.

On the other hand, Saliba has struggled since his move to Arsenal in 2019. The player was loaned out in his first season at the Emirates Stadium.

In his second season, the center-back was deemed “not ready” by his new coach Mikel Arteta.

As a consequence, he was again shipped out to France for six months in January 2021. His career at Arsenal is far from over, as he is still regarded very highly at London Colney.

Doukoure can also take inspiration from Fofana and establish himself as a top-class center-half in one of the best leagues in the world.

Ligue 1 clubs are bound to at least have a sniff at the player.

If that happens, it will be interesting to know whether he prefers leaving the country at such an early age or staying.


Yash Bisht

Connect with the writer via Twitter/Instagram: @yarsenal09


  1. After splashing out 27 mill on a 19 year old Saliba we will surely be very cautious about considering an
    unproven 17 year old from ligue 2.
    Sign him up to the academy on a two year deal with an option to buy should he show promise.

  2. Saliba struggled? When? Where?

    He had 2 fairly good preseason games then radio silence, and he was disappeared by Arteta.

    Generally one plays before determining if they struggle or not.

    Also I belive he has been one of the best players at Nice since he joined. French league I know, but not bad walking into a new team and delivering after wasting on the bench for several months.

    Perhaps we should try our own before shopping. Saliba, Mavroporas, and couple more young CB’s on loan.

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