Arsenal Faces Competition for Highly-Rated French Defender Harold Moukoudi

Bordeaux and RB Leipzig are also in the hunt for Le Havre's 19-year-old defender.
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It has been revealed that Arsenal are in the running for highly-rated 19-year old Le Havre defender Harold Moukoudi, but face a battle with Bordeaux and Red Bull Leipzig for the youngster’s signature.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is a big fan of the Frenchman, who has emerged as one of the brightest young talents in French football.

Reports suggest that Le Havre are resigned to the fact that they will lose Moukoudi, with Wenger keen to bolster his defensive options in preparation for club captain Per Mertesacker’s retirement come the end of the season.

Should Moukoudi leave Le Havre, the youngster- who has already been capped for the France under 18’s- could follow suit with fellow countrymen Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet, who also left the club at a young age.

The Daily Mirror has revealed that Le Havre will look to get the best possible deal for the defender this January, allowing the Frenchman to return to his home club for the remainder of the season.


In other news, Wenger has accepted Kieran Gibbs’ claim that the defender is set to improve under the guidance of Tony Pulis.

The left-back made the switch from Arsenal to West Brom in the summer transfer window for an estimated £7m, admitting he was excited at the opportunity of improving as a defender under Pulis, writes the Mirror.

However, Wenger feels that there is a more particular reason why Gibbs is likely to progress at The Hawthorns.

“He will have more to defend maybe,” claimed the Arsenal manager. “They are a team that focus more on defending. We are a team that goes forward.”

Elsewhere, Arsenal legend Charlie Nicholas has claimed that Jack Wilshere has, “too much talent for Arsenal to give up on him”, but feels the England international will not reach the heights of his potential.

Wilshere played 90 minutes in the Carabao Cup in Arsenal’s 1-0 victory over Doncaster and is expected to start pushing for a more consistent first-team role, though Nicholas feels Monday night’s match against West Brom is too soon.

However, Nicholas is happy with Wilshere’s progress, still deeming the injury-plagued midfielder ahead of three players in Arsenal’s pecking order.

“None of us, in all honesty, think he can get back to where he was four or five years ago because the injuries have been so severe,” said Nicholas, speaking to Sky Sports. “But if he can get close to that then he’s still worth keeping.”