Arsenal are once again being linked with French playmaker

Yoann Gourcuff is the name that crops up every transfer window in the Arsenal-related transfer gossip columns but a move has never materialised

The names Sebastien Frey and Hatem Trabelsi will ring a few bells for Arsenal fans who became accustomed to links with the duo in each transfer window in the early Noughties.

They became the perennial transfer window targets for Arsene Wenger and the club, with an edition of the EA Sports FIFA series putting Trabelsi in the Gunners' squad with a move apparently on the cusp of being finalised.

A move was never forthcoming and the links would eventually fade away. The contemporary equivalent, of course, for Arsenal is Yoann Gourcuff. 

The Frenchman has endured a chequered injury record throughout his career and his time at Lyon has yielded mixed results, but Arsenal's alleged interest dates all the way back to his breakthrough into professional football with Rennes.

Gourcuff was the latest in a string of young playmaker-types to be dubbed 'the next Zidane' but has never been able to hold down a regular place in the national setup and has scored just four goals for his country.

The 27-year-old has failed to fulfil his promise on numerous occasions, though, with AC Milan the most high-profile instance after securing a move to Serie A at the tender age of 20.

The move would come too soon, however, and his career failed to take off as had been initially predicted. Indeed, subsequent moves to Bordeaux and Lyon were unable to bring the best out of a once prodigious talent who simply could not live up to the hype on his shoulders.

The persistent rumours of a switch to Arsenal have always been born out of a short-term fix for Wenger and the club, with a move seriously mooted after the 8-2 defeat to Manchester United in August 2011 when the club embarked on something of a trolley dash to avert a crisis. 

Arsenal would plump for seasoned Premier League stalwarts Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun on that occasion and the suggestions from the Daily Mail now are that Gourcuff could act as an stop-gap signing until the summer if a deal for Schalke's Julian Draxler cannot be struck this week. 

Even if Draxler does arrive before the deadline or not, with Wenger's love for midfield technicians you sense the easily-constructed Gourcuff to Arsenal speculation will never quite fade away.

image: © y.caradec

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