Arsenal to 'compete' with Manchester United for France wonderkid likened to Wayne Rooney

Rennes' midfielder Desire Doue during a Ligue 1 match.
Rennes' midfielder Desire Doue during a Ligue 1 match. -Credit:LOU BENOIST/AFP via Getty Images

Arsenal have joined Manchester United, Aston Villa, Chelsea, and Newcastle United in the race for highly-rated Rennes youngster Desire Doue, according to reports.

The 18-year-old has caught the eye after breaking into the Rennes first team last season, and he has gone on to establish himself more this campaign. He has made 41 appearances in all competitions, scoring four times and providing a further six assists.

His performances in Ligue 1 at such a young age is said to have caught the eye of several clubs. TBR Football reports that Arsenal are the latest to ‘compete’ for his signature in the upcoming transfer window.

Manchester United, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Borussia Dortmund, Aston Villa, Chelsea, and Newcastle are all also said to be following the player closely ahead of a potential summer move. Some of the clubs are said to have been watching the teenager for over a year.

Doue’s versatility in where he can play is a big bonus for clubs tracking the player. He has mainly played as a left winger for Rennes this season but can also operate on the right, in attacking midfield, or in a deeper central midfield role.

His performances in France have seen his style compared to that of Wayne Rooney. Analysing the player’s breakthrough in 2022, Breaking the wrote that Doue has upper body strength similar to Rooney and also the ‘elegant technique’ to match.

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Rooney made a breakthrough at Everton at a similar age to Doue when he made his debut with Rennes. The former England captain went on to play a total of 559 times for Manchester United, scoring 253 goals.