Yoann Gourcuff was once tipped to become 'the next Zidane'. A host of injuries and unsuccessful stint at AC Milan later, he finds himself in his late twenties having achieved very little in European football and certainly not living up to his Zidane-like potential.
Like many of his French counterparts, he's drawn significant attention from Arsene Wenger over the years. Despite being part of the same generation as Hatem Ben Arfa, Abou Diaby, Samier Nasri and Karim Benzema among others, he was 'the best', at least according to David Ginola. Considering the likes of Nasri and Bezema have gone on to play regularly for two of the worlds current biggest clubs, Gourcuff's career to date is one of unfulfilled and arguably lost potential.
Recent news of his willingness to take a pay cut in order to secure a move to Arsenal has raised a few eyebrows as to whether he is ready or good enough to make the step up to the premier league. Whether this is a desperate ploy to regain regular football in the Champions League or to simply boost his CV remains to be seen.
At the age of 27, Arsene Wenger is looking for a ready-made player who can step into a team and deliver without the hassle of integration into first team football as would be the case with a younger player. With Gourcuff having plied his trade in France's Ligue 1 for the majority of his career, it certainly raises the question as to whether he would be good enough to step straight into the Premier League without needing a prolonged amount of time to settle in.
Gourcuff certainly isn't the promised 'marquee singing' by Arsene Wenger and would certainly be a gamble, but in a cut-price deal for a player with international pedigree and more than a point to prove, in my opinion is worthy gamble.
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