Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Lyon's Aly Cissokho Replacement for Gael Clichy

LYON, FRANCE - FEBRUARY 22:  Aly Cissokho of Lyon during the Champions League match between Lyon and Real Madrid at Stade Gerland on February 22, 2011 in Lyon, France.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images
Robin SAnalyst IJuly 6, 2011

Aly Cissokho's name is being bandied around as a potential replacement for Gael Clichy, who left Arsenal for Manchester City in a deal worth £7 million earlier this week.

Kieran Gibbs' fitness problems and relative inexperience mean it's too big a risk to hand him over the first-team duties, a risk Arsenal can ill afford to take at this critical juncture.

Leighton Baines and Jose Enrique are also touted to be potential replacements, but Everton will be reluctant to sell their prized asset, while Liverpool might lure Enrique to Anfield having missed out on the signing of Clichy.

As a result, Arsenal seem to have cast their eyes on Ligue 1 for another French player to replace Clichy.

The Metro is reporting that that Arsenal are lining up Lyon's left-back Aly Cissokho as an ideal replacement.

While Cissokho is a talented fullback, it must be noted that his fitness has been an issue in the past.

It was for the same reason that his transfer to AC Milan didn't materialize in 2009.

He failed to pass the medical and was subsequently nabbed by Lyon for €15m.

However, Cissokho consistently played for Lyon last season and looked in good shape, with 29 league starts under his belt for 2010-11 season.

At 23, he would be the perfect long-term signing for Arsenal with good sell-on value.

A rock-solid fullback, Cissokho has bundles of stamina and is quite a speedy customer.

He's an excellent defender and always puts his body in the line of the ball and is never afraid to put his head in where other players won't step their foot.

Cissokho is also a good passer and also crosses with good accuracy. All that means he will not come for a bargain price. It will take at least £13 million to persuade Lyon to consider selling their prized asset.

This is the best available option for Wenger if he's serious about replacing Clichy, as there aren't too many fullbacks like Cissokho that are equally adept in defence and offence.

Strength, technique and speed don't always come together, and this player belongs in that rare category.

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