Armand Mouhamed Traoré (born 8 October 1989) is a professional footballer who plays as a left back. 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 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 UEFA Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb the following month.
Traoré during a football match at Emirates Stadium in 2008.
Traoré 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 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 did not know it was wrong because the laws were 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 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 received his Premier 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 extension 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 wore at Arsenal. He 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, an eventual 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 in training ahead of an Arsenal match in 2010.
Traoré returned to Arsenal and was involved in Arsenal's 2–0 win over West Bromwich Albion in the League Cup, he played 61 minutes before he was replaced by Nacer Barazite. Due to Gaël Clichy and Kieran Gibbs both incurring injuries, Traoré stepped up to the starting left-back position. 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 with Liverpool. Traoré himself became injured and missed a few matches, but returned against Aston Villa in a 3–0 win.
Traoré's 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, he struggled in the matches 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 he was a more-than-capable understudy, helping the Gunners close the gap at the top of the Premier League table.
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 with the goals scored by Vincenzo Iaquinta and Francesco Totti.
Traoré made his first start for Juventus on 1 December 2010 in a UEFA Europa League match against Lech Poznań, playing 83 minutes before being substituted out in an eventual 1–1 draw. He made his first start in Serie A on 10 January 2011, in a 3–0 loss to Napoli. After a return from a short injury, he started in the matches against Milan and Cesena. On 10 April 2011, he played the full 90 minutes in a 3–2 win against Genoa.
Traoré spent most of his time with Juventus on the substitutes' bench, making only ten Serie A appearances. At the end of the season, it was confirmed he would return to Arsenal. On 24 May 2011, he played his last match for Juventus against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Gary Neville's testimonial match.
Second return to Arsenal
Upon Traoré's loan return from Juventus, on 28 August 2011, he started and played the full 90 minutes at left-back against Manchester United at Old Trafford in an 8–2 loss in the Premier League. He came under criticism when he was seen smiling and congratulating several United players after the match's final whistle. This was his final appearance for Arsenal.
Queens Park Rangers
On 30 August 2011, Traoré completed a move to Queens Park Rangers, signing a three-year contract for an undisclosed transfer fee. On 12 September 2011, he made his QPR debut in a 0–0 draw against Newcastle United; he was substituted off for Matthew Connolly in the 51st minute. On 17 September 2011, Traoré provided two assists against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 3–0 win, the first for Alejandro Faurlín in the tenth minute and the second for DJ Campbell in the 86th minute. On 25 September, 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 match 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; seven minutes later, he 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 2011–12 Premier League title. Notwithstanding, QPR retained their Premier League status for 2012–13 after Bolton drew 2–2 with Stoke City, resulting in Bolton's relegation to the Championship.
On 29 July 2016, Traoré signed a three-year deal with Championship side Nottingham Forest. However, he was not immediately fit to play, having missed the previous season through injury and having played his last match in April 2015.
Traoré has represented France at under-17 and under-18 level. He played with the under-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.
Traoré received his first call-up to the under- team on 13 November 2008 for their friendly against Denmark. The match resulted in a 1–0 victory, with Traoré playing 73 minutes before being substituted off.
In June 2011, Traoré opted to represent his nation of origin, Senegal, after discussions with their coach Amara Traoré. His father also played internationally for Senegal. Traoré received his first Senegal call-up on 1 August ahead of a friendly match against Morocco. He made his debut for Senegal in a 2–0 defeat against Morocco on 10 August 2011, playing 70 minutes before being substituted off.
Traoré grew up supporting Paris Saint-Germain.
Traoré is a practising Muslim, and has been seen praying before a football match for Arsenal. In 2010, Traoré claimed he would remove all his tattoos surgically, also claiming his 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.”
Former Youth Teams
Former Senior Teams
Former Club Staff