Layvin Kurzawa
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Arsenal run rule over Monaco left back Layvin Kurzawa

| 09.12.2014

Arsenal, 33/1 chances with Coral to win the Champions League, could be about to launch a winter window bid for Monaco and France left back Layvin Kurzawa, after sending chief scout Gilles Grimandi to run the rule over him.

Kurzawa, 22, recently made his senior Les Bleus debut, but has missed the last five matches for his club with a thigh muscle strain. It is understood former Gunners defender Grimandi, who is Arsene Wenger’s chief scout in France, has been watching the player for some time.

Monaco reportedly value their academy product Kurzawa at £15m, and this relative modest price by today’s inflated market price standards could be a worthy investment in the January sales. Wenger is really short in defence, with current first-choice left back Kieran Gibbs’ chequered injury record always cause for concern.

In recent outings, Arsenal have had to use Nacho Monreal or Calum Chambers, who are both natural full backs, as emergency centre halves. This is due to Laurent Koscielny being injured throughout the autumn. Right back Mathieu Debuchy, meanwhile, has also been sidelined.

Prior to sustaining that hamstring problem, Kurzawa helped Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco to keep six clean sheets across all competitions. A changing of the guard in defence by France national coach Didier Deschamps has also opened the door for an international career too.

Eric Abidal and Patrice Evra are now both in their mid-30s now and, with Manchester City’s Gael Clichy continually overlooked for selection, Kurzawa is competing with PSG counterpart Lucas Digne and the more-experienced Sevilla player Benoit Tremoulinas for a squad spot.

Gunners fans may think a centre back or holding midfielder should be Wenger’s top priority in the winter window, but a promising player of Kurzawa’s calibre cannot be turned down at the apparent asking price. Arsenal also begin their defence of the FA Cup over the festive period, and are 15/2 chances to retain the trophy.



Jamie Clark

Athletics aficionado, die-hard snooker fan and Crystal Palace supporter Jamie has written for Coral since February 2014 after spells with Soccerlens and the Press Association as a digital journalist and copywriter. A former East Midlands sports correspondent and Bwin tipster, he is a graduate of both the University of York and University of Sheffield, with a Masters in web journalism from the latter.