Anderlecht defender Cheikhou Kouyate has revealed his admiration for Arsenal FC and his desire to leave the Belgian club at the end of this season.
The 23-year-old defender has attracted attention from a lot of European clubs including English clubs like Arsenal and Newcastle United. Kouyate, who left his former club Brussels due to non-payment of wages, has already made 96 appearances for Anderlecht in three seasons. The versatile defender has also made his international debut for the Senegalese national team last year.
In January last year, he signed a new contract with Anderlecht, which will keep him at the club till 2012, but now the youngster has revealed his desire to leave the Belgian football club. Kouyate also disclosed that the Gunners have already made several enquiries about him, although a move has failed to materialize till now.
“I like Arsenal because they play good football. There have been enquiries before, but nothing happened.
“I do not want to say where I am going, but this will be my last season with Anderlecht.
“Until I leave, I will continue to give 100 per cent.” – The Arsenal transfer target was quoted in press.
Kouyate featured in this edition of the Champions League for Anderlecht. Although the Belgian club were knocked out in the group stages at the hands of AC Milan and Malaga, Kouyate managed to impress in that brief spell. His biggest strength is his versatility as a footballer. The 23-year-old can play both as a central defender and as a defensive midfielder — something which Arsenal have lacked since Alex Song’s departure to Barcelona.
Arsenal are expected to have a busy summer this time around and a defensive midfielder is said to be on the wish list of Arsene Wenger, who wants to add more steel to the side. Kouyate’s versatility will prove to be a big asset for the club, but the only question remains is whether he is experienced enough to feature in the Arsenal starting line-up at this age.