Arsenal eyeing 17-year-old centre-back dubbed ‘the next Dayot Upamecano’

Arsenal are reportedly eyeing a move for a teenage sensation who has been dubbed 'the next Dayot Upamecano’.

The player in question is Valenciennes defender Ismael Doukoure, who has emerged in Ligue 2 this season.

The 17-year-old has become a first team regular for the mid-table French second tier side, despite his young age.

And is now being linked with a move to a bigger club, with Leicester also credited with interest by Foot Mercato.

Ligue 1 side Strasbourg are also keeping tabs on Doukoure, who has 15 senior appearances to his name this season in all competitions.

Arsenal had previously been interested in signing RB Leipzig’s highly rated Upamecano, but missed out on the France international to Bayern Munich.

But the Gunners may have been given something of a second chance in the form of a highly promising youngster, whose “precocity and position” have been likened to Upamecano’s.

Meanwhile, Gunners right-back Hector Bellerin has been tipped to leave the club this summer in search of a new challenge.

Having seen him linked with the likes of PSG and Barcelona, ex-Arsenal man Bacary Sagna reckons the time is right for him to take his career to the next level.

Speaking to Goal, Sagna said: "Hector has been there for years. He started playing not long after I left, so he has been in the team for like six years.

"And a bit like I felt, he probably feels that he wants to challenge himself because he has been there for a long time.

"It's nothing to do with the club, nothing to do with winning cups or whatever. At some point if you want to progress, in my mind you need to go somewhere and challenge yourself and start from zero again. This is how I felt.

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  • "Arsenal was my club and is still my beloved club, but after seven years I had the feeling that because I was part of the house, even when I didn't deserve to play, I would have played.

    "It's quite tricky as a player. Hector's still young, he still has five good years to play at the top level and he can do it. So, if he left now, I wouldn't be surprised."

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