It isn't every day that young footballers get touted to be the next Zidane. Starry-eyed Yoann Gourcuff, presently at Bordeaux, has repeatedly been compared to the French legend, due to his playmaking abilities as an attacking midfielder.
The 23-year-old began his career at FC Lorient, managed by his father at the time. After a professional move to Stade Rennais in 2001, Gourcuff was picked up AC Milan in 2006 but had minimal playing time with 36 appearances over two years, partly because of Kaka's presence in midfield. Gourcuff thenmoved back to France on loan for the 2008-09 season.
His one-year stint at Bordeaux allowed Gourcuff to assert himself as an effective playmaker and goal-scorer. In May 2009, it was announced that Bordeaux had permanently signed him. Gourcuff was awarded the Ligue 1 Player of the Year in December 2009, prior to which he had received an international call-up in August 2008.
His single goal for the Les Bleus came in a WC qualifier against Romania. Manager Raymond Domenech later named in the final 23-man squad.
Now linked with a move to Arsenal, Gourcuff remains a tantalising prospect. Whether he will make the move to London will become clearer in the days leading up to the 2010-11 season.
However, if his 25 goals from midfield for Bordeaux serves as a measure of his potential, Yoann Gourcuff will certainly capture the imagination of manifold clubs after July.