The whispers that Arsenal are tracking St. Etienne midfielder Blaise Matuidi, one of the juicier transfer stories of the day, is old news.
For years now the story has been circling around the press, supported by recent rumours that Matuidi, 22-years-old, has been recommended by Arsenal’s French scout Gilles Grimandi. Extra fuel was showered on the story last year as Wenger’s contacts close to Matuidi got that much closer as Damien Comolli, a former scout at the Gunners, took the reigns as the sporting director at Les Verts.
The 5.7ft central midfielder came through the ranks at Troyes and since he has established himself over the past two seasons as a mainstay in the St. Etienne midfield. Matuidi has chalked up over 60 games in his first two years at the club.
The 2008/09 season was a disaster for Les Verts at large. Under the management of Ibrox failure Alain Perrin, the club avoided relegation from Ligue 1 by the skin of their teeth. But amid the darkness Matuidi continued to impress and received positive reviews. He scored two goals in 36 games, as well as receiving three yellows and one red card.
Arsenal’s interest in Matuidi is not unique. Juventus and Everton have also been linked with the Frenchman, who is revered for being able to play in a defensive midfield position together with having the wherewithal to be destructive further up the field.
With a golden left-peg, Matuidi could easily fit in to the Arsenal set-up as he is a quick player with fine technique.
The 22-year-old is under contract at St Etienne until the end of the 2010/2011 season and could well command a fee of Â£9 million.
Video evidence for Blaise Matuidi is hard to come by, but his goal against Bordeaux – which was one of the goals of last season – can be seen here.