Arsenal tracking talented Riviere

Arsenal are reportedly monitoring the progress of Saint Etienne's France under-21 striker Emmanuel Riviere, who himself has spoken of his dream to follow in Thierry Henry's footsteps at Emirates Stadium.

The 20-year-old is one of the most highly-rated young forwards in France after scoring eight crucial goals in just 19 starts for Saint Etienne last season, saving the club from relegation to the French second tier.

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According to reports in Sunday's newspapers, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is to send scouts over the channel in the coming weeks to have the young starlet watched in action for his club, and Riviere is keen to impress.

"Arsenal really would be a fantastic move for me," the Caribbean-born forward said in the News of the World.

"They play fast-moving, attacking football, and are always shooting on goal. It's fantastic."

Riviere has earned a reputation in France as a pacy frontman with the ability to run through defences, leading to obvious comparisons being made with his idol - former Arsenal legend Thierry Henry - but the similarities do not end there.

The young Frenchman was born in Martinique, the same West Indian island as Henry's mother, and Riviere would love the chance for Wenger to mould him into another world-class striker, like Henry.

"I respect Thierry Henry for who he is, he has always inspired me," Riviere enthused.

Lyon, Marseille and Juventus are all thought to be keeping tabs on the £5 million-rated forward, whose exploits last season earned him a new four-year contract with Saint Etienne.

Wenger is believed to be keen on adding more firepower to his squad, despite hammering six past Premier League newboys Blackpool over the weekend.

Maroune Chamakh, who opened his account for the Gunners in the Blackpool romp, is Wenger’s only attacking signing this summer.

By James Martini

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