According to the Daily Star, Arsenal are preparing to battle Newcastle United for Sochaux’s 6ft 3in teenage defender Jerome Onguene. The centre-back was born in Cameroon, but has dual French nationality and has represented Les Bleus at the U-19 level.
Onguene plays for the French Ligue 2 side Sochaux-Montbéliard as a centre-back, but can also play at right-back if called upon to do so. Arsene Wenger is a big fan of versatility, so this will likely prove appealing to the 66-year-old.
The teenager grabbed the attention of Premier League scouts during his performance for Sochaux’s U-19 side, where his unruffled style and strength helped the club win France’s youth cup. They clinched the Coupe Gambardella by beating Olympique Lyonnais 0-2 in the final, as per French publication L’Est Republicain.
Organised by the French Football Federation (FFF), the tournament is designed as a stage not only where young players can showcase their talents, but also a place where clubs can demonstrate their ability to train the footballing stars of the future.
The Daily Star quotes France U-18 coach Ludovic Batelli as describing Onguene as a ‘leader’ and a ‘warrior’, while also saying he could be available for as little as £2 million.
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Despite being only 19-years-old, Onguene sounds as if he could be a good replacement for the ageing Per-Mertesacker, who is nearing the end of his career as an Arsenal defender.
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