Armand Mohamed Traoré is a French-born Senegalese footballer who plays for Queens Park Rangers as a left back. Traoré is a product of the famous Arsenal Academy, he has also 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.
The Frenchman went on to sign a professional contract with the Club in August before making his first team debut in the League Cup in a Third Round match against West Bromwich Albion on 24 October 2006, coming on as a 24th minute substitute for Emmanuel Adebayor. He 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 Armand 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 Traoré was given a formal warning.
He 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.
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 subbed out for Jerome Thomas, also a former gunner.
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 the Croatian international, 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.
Armand 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 to Chelsea and a 1–1 draw over 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 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.
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 Poznan, 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.
He eventually played his last game for Juventus against Manchester United at Old Trafford in Gary Neville's testimonial match on 24 May 2011.
On 28 August 2011, Traore 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.
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, Traore next match was against Wolves in a 3-0 win. Traoré provided 2 assists, once for Alejandro Faurlin 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 sending off as a absolute "disgrace".
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.
He received his first call-up to the U-21 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 taken off.
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."
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."
Armand has supported PSG since he was a boy, and has previously said that there had always been a dream come true to play for them sometime in the future, and his role model has been Zinedine Zidane since he was a child.