OFFICIAL: Arsenal youngster Bennacer joins Tours on loan

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Arsenal midfielder Ismael Bennacer has joined French side Tours on loan until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old, who joined the Gunners in 2015 from his hometown team Arles-Avignon, returns to France, where he will turn out for Ligue 2 strugglers Tours on a temporary deal.

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The second-tier club have an association with Arsenal through star players Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny, with both having featured for the team at different stages of their careers.

Giroud was a key player for Tours between 2008 and 2010 before joining Montpellier, while Koscielny lined out for the club between 2007 and 2009 prior to moving on to Lorient.

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Bennacer had recently returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, where he was with the Algeria camp.

He will now hope to pick up some important first-team experience away from the Emirates as he looks to help lift Tours out of a relegation scrap.