Date: 2nd April 2009 at 11:51am
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Not for the first time on loan youngster Armand Traore has stressed that he does see himself having a long-term future at Arsenal, well he at least hopes to have a long-term future at Arsenal…

The left sided player – who was signed as a left back methinks has been used as a wingback, but mostly a left winger with Pompey – seems to have a good attitude about him as he says that he is looking to break into the Arsenal side ‘in a few seasons time’, but is ‘determined to make it at Arsenal’ with him also knowing that patience is the key to this, so as long as he does have a future he is happy to bide his time to get the chance.

Without a doubt Traore is highly talented, we have seen it on a number of occasions this season and his link-up with Nadir Belhadj at times was breathtaking, second to none – certainly the best left sided link-up play I have seen us have for some time, arguable the best link-up play on either flank! Guimaraes at Fratton in the uefa cup and the uefa game with Milan, of course also at Fratton, are just a couple of examples of the combination in full flow that spring to mind. Also the counter attacking play at Bristol City in the FA cup replay was a pleasure to watch.

Given the situation we found ourselves in, and still do, change had to be made and the Herminator has again made the left back spot his own so that partnership was broken up but then injury to Traore for a large part of the year so far has seen his input very limited, but I hope that he still has a part to play this season.

I had started to question why he was not more involved since around January time. Yep, I knew he had been injured, but did not realise it was such a problematic hip injury and despite playing for the French u21 side during the week he suffered a knock to his ankle so this looks to have set him back again, but he insists that he can still ‘offer something to the team’, and I agree.

He still has a lot to learn but in a few years time I think he could be a fantastic talent, the final delivery needs working on as this has let him down so often, but the pace and skill factor that he has frightens the life out of so many. There is a chance that he ‘might’ be loaned out again next season, and staying at Fratton is not something that he would be opposed to. I would be delighted if he did stay with Pompey, even if it was only on loan, and to be honest as good a player as I think he could be I feel he ‘might’ be another of the highly talented youngsters that are really good, but not quite good enough for Arsenal – I think another youngster, Kieron Gibbs, has quite possibly even moved ahead of him in their pecking order, but he would certainly be good enough for Pompey.

I have said before countless times, but I will say it again, ‘if’ Arsenal seriously do want Niko Kranjcar and he wants to go, which seems likely, I would be insisting on Traore being part of the deal with some cash. But then again it all depends on Arsene Wenger, and if he does see the 19-year-old as having a future with the Gooners…

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