Leicester City transfers: Arsenal, Foxes chase French defender

Leicester City

Leicester City (Photo by Glyn Kirk – Pool/Getty Images)

Leicester City and Arsenal have marked the teenage defender Ismael Doukoure as one of their prime targets ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window.

For those of you who are likely to be relatively unaware of the name, Ismael Doukoure is a 17-year-old French centre-back who is currently playing for French Ligue 2 side Valenciennes. The teenager has received high praises and has been well estimated after his impressive breakthrough this season.

Leicester City’s new interest

A recent report by a French media outlet, Foot Mercato, has confirmed that both Leicester City and Arsenal to be among a growing number of clubs that are interested to invest in the player’s potential future. Doukoure’s style of play has often drawn close comparisons to 22-year-old Dayot Upamecano of RB Leipzig, who himself played for Valenciennes at the youth level.

The fellow French club, Strasbourg, who plays in Ligue 1 is also reported to be in the chase, however, they have apparently already made contact with Valenciennes over a possible move. Doukoure has exceptional positional sense and football maturity even at this young age. So it’s no wonder why these clubs are so much interested to poach him at this young age.

Recent success in the French market

Leicester City and Arsenal have both previously showed similar ways of swooping in to acquire relatively young and unknown French centre-halves from Saint-Étienne. Both Wesley Fofana and William Saliba were transferred from the same side with similar motives by the Premier League teams. While Saliba has thus far failed to win over Arteta, earning him a loan spell, Fofana has become a very crucial player for the Foxes and has successfully skyrocketed his career’s trajectory under manager Brendan Rodgers.

Why a center-back purchase is crucial

Plans for next season’s reinforcements already need to be in motion as both Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs are said to be leaving the club. That void needs to be filled with young talents and Ismael Doukoure could be a perfect piece to fit the puzzle. The Foxes have already got a few exceptionally talented centre-backs like Jonny Evans, Çağlar Söyüncü, Wesley Fofana with Daniel Amartey as their only backup option, so trusting in our already proven scouts, a new purchase from the French market doesn’t seem like a bad idea at all.

The 17-year-old surely needs more time and experience to develop up to Premier League standards, so the East Midlands side needs to be careful in order to meticulously plan ahead ensuring if the club can really dedicate some special attention to cater to the player’s growth before really making a move.

Still stalling could result in losing an opportunity in this modern day and age. Doukoure is very young and is currently valued at £270K. He could still be an absolute bargain for the King Power club but no one can deny the extra risk factor that tags along with an unproven 1st Divison player.