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Arsenal's Armand Traore comes of age

It seems like more than a year since Armand Traore made his first team debut for Arsenal, but in fact it was less than 12 months ago when we first got to see the promise of Gael Clichy’s understudy.

Traore, who turns 18 today, signed a professional contract with Arsenal in August 2006, but we’d already caught a glimpse of him in Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial at Emirates Stadium, when his blistering speed running down the flanks was one of the talking points of the showpiece game.

Last season’s Carling Cup run saw Arsene Wenger giving Armand a decent run of games for the club and anyone who has seen the young left back in action knows that we have someone more than capable to fill in for Clichy if and when the need arises.

Traore hasn’t just impressed at club level, as the former Monaco player has represented France at Under-17 level and was called up for the Under-18s at their European Championship last season.

This season, his sole appearance for the Gunners to date was in the 2-0 Carling Cup win over Newcastle, where he delivered the pinpoint cross for Nicklas Bendtner to head Arsenal into the lead.

He has also shown that he can be a goal scorer, netting in both of his appearances for the reserves this season, including a 40-yard belter against Fulham.

Expect to see him in the starting line-up for our Carling Cup clash at Sheffield United at the end of the month, as Armand and the other Arsenal fringe players look to go one better in that tournament by lifting the trophy at Wembley next February.

Happy Birthday Armand, from everyone at Arsenal Pies.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on October 8, 2007 12:27 PM in News| Players
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