Rumours have emerged fuelled by the Daily Mail that Arsenal are interested in Paris Saint-Germain’s young forward, Jean-Christophe Bahebeck.
The story comes out of left-field and is a little surprising if you have followed the 21-year-old’s career so far. He may be a player that interests Arsene Wenger, but right now, any move for the forward would be an awful decision for the London club.
Born in the Saint-Denis suburb of Paris, the winger has been playing for PSG since he was 14 years old and he seemed to have the world at his feet when he made his first-team debut back in 2011 against Auxerre. That season he played the full 90 minutes once, and he looked every part the exciting youngster.
However, over the next four seasons Bahebeck has only started 27 games, which includes loan spells at Troyes and Valenciennes in Ligue 1. Only 12 times did he manage to play the full 90 minutes. It’s safe to say that Bahebeck has failed to live up to the early expectations.
When he moved on loan to Troyes for the 2012/13 season, he was expected to help the newly promoted side try and secure safety in Ligue 1, but his record of three goals in 27 appearances wasn’t enough to help ESTAC stay up, and another loan spell at Valenciennes would follow the next season.
His productivity decreased again, only managing two league goals in 19 appearances, this is the same amount of goals that ex-Liverpool failure, Anthony Le Tallec, managed during the season, although Le Tallec played less minutes.
The frustration around Bahebeck comes when you watch him for the French youth sides. France finished second in the Toulon Tournament that finished on Sunday, Bahebeck scored four goals, including twice in the final against Brazil.
His first goal came from the penalty spot when he blatantly dived to win the foul. Then he showed exactly what he is about by smashing a 20-yard strike past the Brazilian ‘keeper with his supposed weaker left-foot.
There is little doubt that as a 21-year-old he has ability, but his decision making and his intelligence around the pitch leaves a lot to be desired. His ability to shoot from distance makes him an eye-catching prospect, but it is everything outside of the power in his boots that show exactly why he has struggled at two lower-level Ligue 1 sides.
Bahebeck is well behind Yaya Sanogo in terms of development. The Arsenal forward had shown more stability and consistency before he moved to North London; the PSG forward is nowhere near his level of ability.
With his contract up at the end of the month, Bahebeck would be a decent signing for a lower-level Ligue 1 side, but he is far from the calibre of player that Arsenal should be looking at this summer.