Who is Caen’s 19-year-old striker Yann Karamoah, a summer target for both Arsenal and Tottenham?
According to reports in the Mirror, Premier League rivals Arsenal and Tottenham have both joined the race for highly-rated young striker Yann Karamoah.
The 19-year-old forward, who is also currently being monitored by Italian duo Fiorentina and Inter Milan, enjoyed an impressive season for French side Caen last year and has already been watched.
Who is Yann Karamoah?
Born in the Ivory Coast, in July 1998, Karamoah moved to France and signed his first professional contract at Ligue 1 side Caen in 2011, working his way through their youth ranks for five seasons.
In 2015 he was awarded the call-up to their reserve team, where he made 28 appearances and scored 11 times, before making his Ligue 1 debut at 18 years of age, against Lorient.
He clearly made enough of an impression during his substitute appearance because, just six days later, he was given his first ever start for Caen – playing the full 90 minutes – against big boys Lyon.
Whilst working his way through the Caen youth system, he has also been a mainstay in France’s youth sides, featuring at every age group since under-16, and he recently made his under-21 debut.
Would his playing style work in the Premier League?
Ligue 1 seems to have been the place to be last season to see exciting young strikers make the breakthrough into the big time, and Yann Karamoah is no exception to this after a stunning year.
Despite playing for a struggling Caen outfit, who avoided relegation to Ligue 2 by just a solitary point on the last day, he was outstanding, showing desire, fight and a willingness to run in the box.
The French under-21 international can play with both feet, is able to operate in either a central striking role or on the flanks, and has a turn of pace similar to Dortmund’s Ousmane Dembele.
During last season, Caen boss Patrice Garande said: “He is a young player, he needs to prove himself but I also have to be careful with him.
“When you drop a player, it doesn’t mean you have lost confidence in him. Karamoh has been away with France, where he picked up an injury, but the confidence I have in him has never disappeared.”
And, just like Garande’s confidence in him, Karamoah’s belief in his own ability is clear to see whenever he takes to the field, playing with a huge sense of freedom and belief he can make things happen.
How likely is a move to London?
After watching N’Golo Kante come through the ranks at Caen and earn himself a massive move to the Premier League – eventually ending up at Chelsea – Karamoah knows that anything is possible.
It’s little surprise that there’s so much demand for the 19-year-old and, should one of Europe’s bigger teams come calling, Caen will struggle to keep hold of him, with his £9 million price tag achievable.
But in an interview last month, as reported by Goal, the French forward admitted that he would only switch clubs if he was to be guaranteed game-time, and this would be unlikely at either north London side.
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