May 28

Traore future hangs in the balance

Armand Traore will find out in the coming days whether he’ll be staying at Arsenal, with the Frenchman eagerly waiting on the outcome of Gael Clichy’s ongoing contract talks.

The 21-year-old, who had a largely unsuccessful loan spell at Italian giants Juventus playing just 10 Serie A games, started his final game in Gary Neville’s testimonial match at Old Trafford last week.

Traore’s fellow countryman Clichy is expected to put pen to paper on a long-term contract extension soon, although manager Arsene Wenger is hesitant over handing the inconsistent left-back a £20,000 pay rise.

Another problem Traore faces is Kieran Gibbs, who has made further inroads this season due to Clichy’s injury troubles. The Englishman is currently Clichy’s reserve which leaves Traore as third choice left-back.

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24 Responses to “Traore future hangs in the balance”

  1. Gooner4life&beyond says:

    £20,000 pay rise? That can’t be right, he needs a £10,000 pay decrease. I like clichy, but he’s not that great at all. Hell, him and Traore can go. Gibbs needs to be in midfield, not convincing at the back and at least we’ll have a left winger who can cross and track back to defend a bit.

  2. petr says:

    we need clichy to say, hes had a bad season but hes still a great player.

  3. Pritpal says:

    in my view traore is a better left back than gibbs. gibbs is just overhyped due to the fact he is english, he hasn’t eally impressed me at all this season

  4. galverston says:

    they is all too overhyped in da madness world of premiership. it is an unreal world so removed from us normal guyz that it is a planet and two and then one more away in da distance

  5. John says:

    Kieran gibbs is better than clichy, traore.

    Problem with gibbs is that he hasnt played games!

    You need a run of games to perform consistently!

    If you dont games how can you improve?

  6. Danny says:

    Your Kidding an extra £20’000!! we can go out and get a left back that can defend and not panic for the wages he’s gonna be on!! And who’s better out of Traore n Gibbs??!?!? Erm Gibbs just for me but there bothe converted from attackers or wingers and every time ive seen Traore play he’s been sh*te

  7. @MichaelGooner says:

    Clichy has been a good player but i feel he has failed on the offside trap so often, the most obvious case is barca at home for me, againt a what if but imagine if we had kept a clean sheet. Gibbs is far too suspect at the back, he struggled against leyton orient so would rather have traore as cover for a new man if clichy leaves, the celtic lad would go down a treat for me. CLichy has his price but we have bigger fish to fry

  8. Danny says:

    @John: Aswell what hasnt helped Gibbs is everytime he plays he gets injured

  9. Dakane says:

    Gibs is a flop he always loose hs position the last 2 games arshavin coverd 4 hm most armad traore is beta player.

  10. hectorov says:

    The most inteligent thing that Arsenal can do is put on loan both.. they must go to a PL team where they can get minutes and experiencie.. while arsene wenger must buy a topclass leftback like contreau

  11. bc says:

    None of em are arsenal quality for left back. Move vermaelen to left back and gibbs to left wing sell the other 2 and buy a left sided centre half like vertonghen. If gibbs or botelho then can’t nail down the left wing spot go for hazard next season.

  12. Pablo says:

    What about Pedro Botelho? Isn’t he meant to be good? I’d say keep Pedro and Gibbs.

  13. stan says:

    I believe we have a problem at left back. Traore has had his time and should go, Clichy has had an average season and shown he can’t defend. Gibbs has been poor for his standards compared to last year. If Wenger has any sense, he should sell Clichy and sign Baines instead, with Gibbs in reserve.

  14. JOEL says:

    Agreed,Traore has proven with all his loan moves that he simply isn’t good enough.Clichy should have been more concerned by his “average” form ,this year, rather than his wages and Gibbs has gone backwards.I was wondering whether a year playing at left back would help Konscielny adapt to to the EPL?This could pptentially free up a little more money for the potential purchase of Cahill.Unfortunately it looks like our tight fisted Manager would rather spend half as much on Blackburn’s inferior version of Sol!

  15. Dani says:

    I think Gibbs needs to be given in attacking role, he isn’t best in left back because he is good in technique and pace. And also for me Clichy is not good enough, sell him and buy a new one instead of raising his wage. Buy someone like Leighton Baines and Traore for backup.

  16. Davi says:

    @Pritpal: I agree gibbs has been poor this season, but he was good the two seasons before. I do agree that he is liked more because he is english, and in fact he and traore are quite close. If anything traore looks more like a left back to me, whereas gibbs would do better in midfield, maybe even as a centre mid.

  17. Sned says:

    Traore can cross better than Gibbs, and is faster than Gibbs, otherwise Gibbs is superior.

    You have to remember though, Gibbs started off as a central midfielder, moved across as a wide midfielder, so isn’t a natural defender. As a midfielder, he’s not as good as our other options, as a left back, he’s a reasonable option, but we only have 4 (Clichy, Gibbs, Traore and Pedro) to choose from.

    Saying that, I think Pedro will come into the squad, has been very, very impressive at Cartagena.

  18. Peter Efe says:

    Clichy lacks the ability the read plays!
    I would love to se Baines in an Arsenal shirt!

  19. John says:

    Gibbs has only started 3 games in the premiership!

    He’s got more talent than clichy, traore.

    He just needs to stay injury free!

  20. Siddhant says:

    Traore’s future is obviously linked to Clichy’s. Which is why its important that we discuss Clichy’s future before Traore’s. I believe that Clichy’s time is up. He’s obviously trying to get a better contract but one that his performances don’t deserve. In my opinion, the LB situation is THE MOST critical one right now.

    In the last few weeks of the season, I remember in an interview Wenger conceded to the fact that the average height of the team was shorter than it should be, as reflected by the no. of goals conceded by us on set pieces. And he knows that he needs to buy players that can handle the aerial duels (As reflected by our apparent recent interest in tall players like Samba, Cahill, Alvarez and the signing of Jenkinson). Now ideally, a team should should ATLEAST have 5 good, tall headers of the ball for set-piece situations. If we look at our current first team (Clichy, TV, JD, Sagna, Song, Jack, Cesc, Nasri, Walcott, RvP), I can only find 3 i.e. Vermaelen, Djourou and Sagna. Song and RvP are the other ones usually in the mix in set-pieces but neither of them have a commanding presence in the air and do an OK job.

    Now if we buy a CB in the mould of Samba, Cahill, etc. it would be a great addition to the squad but wouldn’t do us much good because that player would probably replace Djourou and we’ll still be left with only 3 good headers of the ball on the pitch, which would result in us facing the same problems against the likes of Stoke and other such teams. None of the attacking 5 players can be replaced. So the only ones which can be replaced are Song and Clichy.

    Song, in my opinion has had a very good season. There are some blogs out there who’ve turned against him due to his apparent lack of work ethic, passion, desire, etc. I personally see no such problems, unless there was an in-house incident. The only thing he lacks is a bit of pace and acceleration but being a defensive midfielder, he often gets away with that. In simpler terms, his pros far outweigh his cons, and therefore he deserves his place in the first team. That is, unless Arsene decides to play with a 4-4-2 next season and plays Jack and Cesc in the middle, or some other system which requires Jack in the holding role.

    The only one now left is Clichy. Tactically inept, poor header of the ball, poor crosser and average passer(not upto Arsenal standards in my opinion). His only strong point is his pace, which often helps him cover up for his mistakes. Although, I still think he could be a great asset for a club that suits his playing style. I think Arsene is deliberately offering him lesser than what he and his agent are asking for, knowing that this would force Clichy’s agent to look for other clubs and still keep our club’s hand stronger in negotiations with interested parties. If we manage to get a left back who ticks all the boxes like speed, heading ability, passing, crossing and tactical nous, then it’d be a great addition to the squad. But it’s going to be a tough job finding such a player. It’s strange that currently all the good left backs (that i know of) are on the shorter side like Cole, Marcelo, Evra, Baines, Lahm, etc.

    I quite like Jose Enrique but haven’t seen him enough in set-piece situations to pass judgement. Emilio Izaguirre, Scottish Football Writers’ player of the year and currently on most fans’ wishlist, would be a big mistake due to his lack of height and physical presence. The only player would fit the bill perfectly is Abidal and he’s not going anywhere. Not for cheap anyway.

    Regarding the Traore/Gibbs issue, it all depends on how they do in pre-season in front of Wenger. Personally, I rate Gibbs more but I haven’t seen Traore at all last season at Juventus and I’m hoping he’s developed into a better full back. We also shouldn’t forget Botelho who would be joining the squad for pre-season. Hopefully he’ll get a work permit this time around. A loan spell for Gibbs to a new Premier League team or a strong Championship team would do him a world of good, leaving Botelho and Traore to fight it out as 2nd choice. The new addition Jenkinson also makes this situation a bit complicated, unless Arsene’s planning on moulding him into Sagna’s successor.


  21. Valentin says:

    Gibbs had been poor this season. You may say that he needs game to get into the groove however most of his mistakes have been technical errors rather than physical errors.I think that he has reached its peak ability.
    Traore had really progressed at Juventus. One year of Italian defensive coaching gave him huge pointers to correct his positional deficiencies. Most of his loans have been successful, at Portsmouth he was in playing week in week out, then Tony Adams went in and changed everything (it pains me to say not for the better). That is when he lost his place that goals started to come in from their left side. His replacement was great going forward but absolutely useless at defending.
    Bothelo is an enigma because the level of secunda Spanish league is nowhere near the premiership level in intensity, pace and technique required. He may an answer however I believe that he is better suited to left midfield as he has pace, terrific crossing ability and an eye for a goal. A bit like Gareth Bale who is a terrible left back but an incredible left midfield.

  22. petros says:

    In the last games that Gibbs played, he was really mediocre. He only defended and rarely helped the attacking play. Sometimes he was not in his position and his teammates couldn’t find him so that they could pass the ball down the left side. If Gibbs will be our first choice left back next year then it would be a risk decision, because it will be the first season he will play as first choice and if he doesn’t perform in the first 4-5 matches then every fan will be upset with him (as it now happens with Arshavin, Bendtner, Squillaci, as it happened with Eboue, etc.).

  23. GunnerMacedonia says:

    ok, everybody`s talking about the left back situation, but anyone thinking right back is also a problem? i mean, yes we have sagna, who is top class, but eboue is not a solid back up for me. my oppinion is that eboue should be used as a winger, he is a great dribbler, can shoot and creating chances, but defensively i dont think he is good enough. i would take coleman from everton, solid back up and can play winger, very talented guy.
    imo gael clichy should leave the club. he has had enough time to prove his ability since ashely cole left and he has done nothing. the perfect addition would be to move vermaelen to 1st choice left back, let gibbs be 2nd choice, traore and botelho(who i`ve never seen him play) on loan OR get baines from everton fpr 1st choice. baines also can score from free kicks, WHICH WE HAVENT SCORED FOR A WHILE NOW!
    for the dm position, song is great, next year he will develop even more and surprise everyone. but we dont have a back up for him too. if wenger want to spend, tiote is great, also parker. if he doesnt, than he should think of developing vermaelen or kos or play djourou in that position, like mourinho played pepe this year against barca.

  24. gooner 4 lyf says:

    deffo keep clichy n gibbs dnt mind if traore left… although he iz a good plya clichy n gibbs r far superior 2 him


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