Lacina Traore is an imposing 6′8″ giant who’s already played a degree of first team football for two different clubs and has scored in the Europa League and the most amazing thing about this – he’s still just 19 years old. Arsene Wenger and his scouting team are always on the lookout for talented young players and it looks like they’ve found a potential gem in the giant Ivorian who is bound to become a star of the future.
Arsenal’s need for a striker has led to them being linked with a number of well known players but one potential signing going somewhat under the radar is Traore. Compared to Emmanuel Adebayor – though without the attitude problems – Traore is one of the best young players plying their trade in Romania and has already made a number of fine performances for Romanian side CFR Cluj, impressing both domestically and in the Europa League. Rumours of a £3.6 million move to Arsenal are refusing to subside and Traore could end up being a part of the Arsenal first team quicker than anyone could imagine. Traore himself has said
“It would be a dream for me to get to play on a team so great. I have a chance there because Arsene Wenger relies heavily on young players. It is sensational to hear Wenger is watching me. I could be a success in England. Even though I am still young, I have a lot of experience and a lot of ambition.”
A number of big European clubs are said to be interested in Traore but his preferred destination is Arsenal due to his admiration for Wenger and his youth policy. Cluj do not want to lose the youngster but are aware they face a losing battle to keep him with Traore desiring a move and given the interest in him.
So what do you need to know about Traore? He’s taller than Peter Crouch despite the fact that he’s still a teenager. This, obviously, makes him a massive aerial threat and he’s very good at asserting his dominance in the air. But Traore is no one trick pony, the big man is also very good with the ball at his feet and has already banged home some fine long range efforts and he has good ball control, strength and pace to boot. Adebayor suited Wenger’s style of play very well (when he could be bothered) and given the similarities in playing styles Traore could easily prove a capable scorer for the Gunners, even now whilst he’s still so young. Oh, and did I mention he’s good with both feet?
There’s a degree of risk on signing a player who’s unproven in a big league but Traore is still very young and can improve even more than the level he’s already gotten to, plus you’re pretty much guaranteed a supply of aerial goals from such a tall player. The transfer fee is pretty cheap and the chances are that Traore would be thrown straight into first team action instead of having to progress in the reserves. A physical striker is what the Gunners have been looking for and they don’t come much more physical than 6’8” giants, Traore would give the Gunners the player they’ve needed and could prove a hit with the Gunners for a long time with well over a decade left in him. Sign him up Wenger!