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Arsenal Transfer Rumor: Linked with another young French midfielder

You may recall this story from summer 2018.

France U16 v Portugal U16 - Mondial Football 2017 Photo by Vincent Michel/Icon Sport

In recent days and weeks, Arsenal headlines have been dominated by the primary transfer window targets and the progression of the academy products. The summer transfer window closes in just a few weeks, and while the club has only signed one player thus far, a lot of activity appears to be taking place behind the scenes.

Have you heard this story before? Arsenal linked with a young French midfielder who has yet to play in a tier-one European league and is available at a great price. Last summer Arsenal brought in a 19-year-old Mattéo Guendouzi who had yet to break into Ligue 1 for just £7m. French outlet Foot Mercato are reporting a sequel might be in the works.

Meet Bilel Hassaini

The site has linked Arsenal as one of a few clubs in pursuit of young French winger Bilel Hassaini. The report indicates that Liverpool and PSG have also inquired about the player who is available on a free. Keep in mind that there is very little information here and we can’t speak to the long term credibility of Foot Mercato for breaking these stories.

But it would fit the profile of player Arsenal has looked at over the past few seasons. In addition to Guendouzi, the Gunners brought in Konstantinos Mavropanos the summer before, also before he turned 20, for just £2.5m.

Hassaini is 18 years old and has been with the AS Nancy academy, until letting his contract expire opening up this potential move. He has appeared 26 times with the French national team U16 and U17 sides.

While Arsenal are busy chasing deals for Kieran Tierney, Dani Ceballos, and William Saliba, a move for Hassaini offers a low risk, smart business move. On a free, he is worth a one or two year deal for a season with the Arsenal U23 side. He would add another young attacking winger to the future depth chart possibilities. Something that never hurts, especially in light of Arsenal’s lack of attacking width over the past few seasons and transfer budget.