Traoré with Nottingham Forest in 2016
|Full name||Armand Traoré|
|Date of birth||8 October 1989|
|Place of birth||Chatenay-Malabry, France|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|Playing position||Left back / Left Winger|
|2008–2009||→ Portsmouth (loan)||19||(1)|
|2010–2011||→ Juventus (loan)||10||(0)|
|2011–2016||Queens Park Rangers||87||(2)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 November 2016.
Armand Traoré (born 8 October 1989) is a professional footballer who plays as a left back for Nottingham Forest. Traoré is a product of the Arsenal Academy. He has represented France at under-19 and under-21 levels, but has since opted to represent his parents' native country, Senegal, at the senior level.
Traoré joined Arsenal on 1 August 2005, having previously been at Racing Paris and Monaco. Although mainly a reserve team member, making six appearances in the FA Premier Reserve League in 2005–06, he played in Dennis Bergkamp's testimonial against Ajax in the first game at Emirates Stadium in July 2006 and he was an unused member of Arsenal's 18-man squad for their Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb the following month.
He went on to sign a professional contract with the club in August 2006 before making his first team debut in the League Cup in a third round match against West Bromwich Albion on 24 October, as a 24th minute substitute for Emmanuel Adebayor. Traoré went on to start Arsenal's League Cup matches against Everton, Liverpool, both legs of the semi-final against Tottenham Hotspur and the final against Chelsea, which Arsenal lost 2–1. On Wednesday 28 February 2007, he started the FA Cup quarter-final replay against Blackburn Rovers in a 1–0 defeat at Ewood Park.
At the beginning of the 2007–08 campaign Traoré said he wanted to prove his quality to manager Arsène Wenger. He put in numerous impressive performances for the Reserves and even scored a few goals including a spectacular long-range effort against Tottenham Reserves. In September 2007, Traoré returned to White Hart Lane, but this time only as a spectator when he was arrested for carrying knuckle dusters into the stadium. Traoré and a friend were taken into custody for questioning and he was given a formal warning. Traoré later apologised the situation and said that he didn't know that it was wrong because the laws are different in France. He also started Arsenal's FA Cup tie against Burnley, before being replaced by Justin Hoyte in the 71st minute, and was on the bench during Arsenal's 3–1 Premier League victory over Manchester City on 2 February 2008, but did not actually make it onto the pitch. On Saturday 16 February 2008, he started and played the full 90 minutes against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a 4–0 defeat in the FA Cup fifth round. He finally got his league debut on 5 April 2008, against Liverpool. He was used as a left-winger in Arsenal's final two league matches of the 2007–08 season, supplying the cross which led to Nicklas Bendtner's winner against Everton. On 4 August 2008, he signed a long-term contract with Arsenal.
Loan move to Portsmouth
On 21 August 2008, Traoré signed a season long loan deal with Portsmouth to gain valuable first-team experience. He was given the jersey number 30, the same jersey number that he had at Arsenal. Traoré made his debut for Portsmouth against Manchester United at Fratton Park, playing the first 56 minutes of the game before being replaced by Jerome Thomas. Traoré had enjoyed a fair amount of playing time in the early part of his loan spell, being utilised as a left midfielder. However, when Niko Kranjčar returned from injury, Traoré's playing chances soon became limited.
Traoré scored his first Premier League goal on 18 May 2009 in a home match to Sunderland, Portsmouth went on to win 3–1. He made 19 Premier League appearances and scored one goal for Portsmouth before returning to Arsenal at the end of the season.
Return to Arsenal
Traoré returned to Arsenal and was involved in Arsenal's 2–0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the Football League Cup, he played 61 minutes before he was replaced by Nacer Barazite. Due to Gaël Clichy and Kieran Gibbs both getting injuries, Traoré stepped up to the number one left back spot. He made his first start against Sunderland and followed it up with big appearances including in a 3–0 win over Chelsea and a 1–1 draw against Liverpool. Traoré himself got injured and missed a few games but returned against Aston Villa in a 3–0 win.
His form reportedly attracted the interest of Paris Saint-Germain and Traoré was forced to strenuously deny reports he was set to move to France. However Traoré struggled in the games against Everton and Bolton Wanderers. Clichy's return forced Traoré out of the side until May's trip to Blackburn Rovers but the defender had proved that he was a more-than-capable understudy, helping the Gunners close the gap at the top of the Premier League.
Loan move to Juventus
On 31 August 2010, Traoré joined Italian giants Juventus on a season-long loan. He was given the shirt number 17, previously worn by David Trezeguet. Due to an injury he missed almost three months of the season before finally making his debut on 13 November 2010 against Roma coming on as a 45th minute substitute for Fabio Grosso. The match ended 1–1 and the goals were scored by Vincenzo Iaquinta and Francesco Totti.
He made his first start for Juventus on 1 December 2010 in a Europa League match against Lech Poznań, playing 83 minutes before being subbed out while the match ended 1–1. He made his first start in Serie A for Juventus on 10 January 2011, starting the match against Napoli. The match ended 3–0 to Napoli with all goals scored by hat-trick hero Edinson Cavani. After a return from a short injury, he started Juventus both latest games against Milan and Cesena. On 10 April 2011, Traoré played the full 90 minutes in a 3–2 win against Genoa with Luca Toni as the match winner against his former team mates. Armand spent most of his time with Juventus on the bench, making only ten league appearances. At the end of the season it was confirmed that he would return to Arsenal.
Second return to Arsenal
Upon his loan return from Juventus, Traoré On 28 August 2011, Traoré started and played the full 90 minutes at left-back against Manchester United at Old Trafford in an 8–2 loss in the Barclays Premier League. He came under criticism when he was seen smiling and congratulating several Manchester United players after the final whistle. This was his final appearance for Arsenal.
Queens Park Rangers
On 30 August 2011, Traoré completed his move to Queens Park Rangers signing a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee. On 12 September 2011, Traoré made his QPR Debut in a 0–0 draw against Newcastle United before being substituted by Matthew Connolly on the 51st minute. On 17 September 2011, Traoré provided 2 assists against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 3–0 win; once for Alejandro Faurlín in the 10th minute and also for DJ Campbell in the 86th minute. On 25 September 2011, Traoré was sent off in the 90th minute in a 1–1 draw against Aston Villa. QPR Manager Neil Warnock described Traoré's sending off as an absolute "disgrace". In the last game of the season against Manchester City and needing a win to keep the club in the Premier League at the expense of Bolton Wanderers, Traoré came on as a substitute for Djibril Cissé in the 59th minute, and 7 minutes later provided a cross from which Jamie Mackie scored a header, leading to a shock 2–1 lead. However, Manchester City managed to score twice in injury time, resulting in them winning the title. Queens Park Rangers retained their Premier League status after Bolton drew 2–2 with Stoke City, resulting in Bolton's relegation to the Championship.
On 29 July 2016, Traoré signed a 3-year deal with Championship side Nottingham Forest.
Armand has represented France at Under-17 and Under-18. Armand played with the France U-19s, helping them qualify for the Elite Round of the 2008 UEFA Under-19 Championship qualification. He participated in all three qualifying matches and one of France's elite matches, before France were eliminated by Italy.
In June 2011, Traoré opted to represent his nation of origin, Senegal, after discussions with their coach Amara Traoré. His father also played international football for the Senegal national football team.
However Traoré received his first Senegal call-up on 1 August ahead of a friendly match against Morocco. Armand Traoré made his debut for Senegal in a 2–0 defeat against Morocco on 10 August 2011, the defender played 70 minutes before being subbed out.
Traoré is a practising Muslim, and has been seen praying before a football match for Arsenal. In 2010 Traoré claimed that he would remove all his tattoos surgically, he also claimed that the religion was behind the move after embracing the Muslim faith. He said:
"I'm planning to do this in the summer. They'll put me under anaesthetic and then do it all, and when I wake up everything will be gone. It needs a bit of recovery time though so I’m not going to do it during the football season. If I had been into my religion properly before I’d had the tattoos done, I think I would never have got them. I think it’s one of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my life but I will try and correct it. My religion has benefits both personally and in my career. I have always been a Muslim but I wasn't really practising it, I was just saying to people 'I am a Muslim'. It's a gradual development."
Traoré explained: "It's all about many of the things that are good in football too – like resting, doing everything right, being nice to people, respecting, not swearing or lying, being fair." He has said; “I used to say I am a Muslim, but I wasn’t practising my religion... wasn’t doing the right things. I became a practising Muslim when I was 18. I stopped getting tattoos, I stopped seeing girls and wanted to settle down and get married.”
|Portsmouth (loan)||2008–09||Premier League||19||1||2||0||1||0||6||0||0||0||28||1|
|Juventus (loan)||2010–11||Serie A||10||0||0||0||—||2||0||—||12||0|
|Queens Park Rangers||2011–12||Premier League||23||0||0||0||0||0||—||—||23||0|
|National team||Year||Major competition||Friendlies||Total|
|France U19||2008||2008 UEFA U-19 Qualifier||4||0||0||0||4||0|
|Senegal||2011||2012 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifier||1||0||1||0||2||0|
|2012||2012 Africa Cup of Nations||0||0||2||0||2||0|
|2013||2014 WC Qualifiers||0||0||1||0||1||0|
- Queens Park Rangers
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- Smithfield, Jackie (24 July 2012). "Ramadan A Positive For Cisse and Ba?". Mirror Football. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
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- Law, Matt (7 April 2012). "Armand Traore Hopes To Bury Nightmare". Daily Express. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
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- "Armand Traoré". NFT. Retrieved 5 September 2015.
- Queens Park Rangers profile
- ESPN Soccernet profile
- Armand Traoré career statistics at Soccerbase
- Armand Traoré at National-Football-Teams.com