SAFC 10 YEARS AGO: Roy Keane tracking Arsenal defender

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Here’s what the Echo was reporting 10 years ago today.

KEANE TRACKS TRAORE LOAN

Sunderland boss trains sights on young Gunner

SUNDERLAND are monitoring young Arsenal full-back Armand Traore.

According to sources in London, the Gunners are keen for the 17-year-old Frenchman to go out on loan after his exploits in Arsene Wenger’s young cup side.

The former Monaco defender featured in Arsenal’s 2-1 Carling Cup loss to Chelsea last month and kept his place as they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Blackburn last week.

Wenger believes it’s too soon to throw the young Parisian into the Premiership, but wants him to go out and gain more first team experience.

Danny Collins has been doing a good job for Sunderland at left-back, but boss Roy Keane said recently that he felt he was short on cover.

Football League clubs have until March 22 to complete “emergency” loans for the rest of the season and Keane may take advantage to ready his squad for the last few weeks of the promotion campaign.

Traore started the Carling Cup final after Gael Clichy failed to shrug off a foot injury for the big match at the Millennium Stadium.

The teenager was rewarded after featuring in every round on the way to the Cardiff finale.

He went on to make his FA Cup debut at Blackburn, when the Gunners went down to Benni McCarthy’s stunning individual goal after Traore had been substituted.

Strong, quick and athletic, Traore joined Arsenal from Monaco last year and played six times for the reserved last season, before getting involved in the first-team’s pre-season your to Austria having started Dennis Bergkamp’s Testimonial.

He was also in the Gunners’ 17-man squad that went to Croatia for the first leg of the Champions Lead third qualifying round match against Dynamo Zagreb, but wasn’t involved in the game.

Traore says former Sunderland and Arsenal defender Steve Bould – now coaching with the Gunners’ academy – has been a major influence since he came to England.

He said: “Steve Bould has played a big part in my progress. He’s a top-class defender and he really helped me when I came to Arsenal because before that I couldn’t defend that well. I have improved because of him.

“My concentration has improved a lot, it has to when you play at this level. And my defending is better too.”