The Gunners are in the market for a new left-back ahead of the summer transfer window.
Manager Mikel Arteta has made it clear that he wants a new left-back in the summer. Arsenal wanted to sign a left-back in the January transfer window and identified targets for the position but nothing came close.
Arsenal lack depth in the left full-back area. Kieran Tierney has missed three consecutive games. Ainsley Maitland-Niles went on loan to West Bromwich Albion on the deadline day. Saed Kolasinac also completed his move to former club Schalke 04.
Last season, teenager Bukayo Saka played as a makeshift left-back. But his attacking output as a winger this season makes him a real threat in the forward-line. Pushing him back in defence will dis-balance Arsenal’s attack.
Cedric, naturally a right-back, has deputized as a left-back in the last few games. While the Portuguese defender impressed initially in that role, he was at fault for Aston Villa’s winner against the Gunners at the weekend. For these reasons, Arsenal needs more natural options in the position.
Arsenal wants a young defender
The Gunners were interested in Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt, as they looked for last-minute additions in the January transfer window. They were also linked with Southampton’s left-back Ryan Bertrand. But nothing materialized.
Manager Mikel Arteta then wanted someone with Premier League experience. But now that stance has changed.
According to The Athletic, Arsenal are now looking for a left-footed left-back. They want a young player with high quality and potential. Also, someone whom who can play back-up to first-choice Kieren Tierney and learn from him.
The report also claimed that Arsenal was not in a position to make a left-back signing in January, given the financial constraints and also squad-space difficulties. They have delayed their plans and now are looking to bring someone in the summer.
Kieran Tierney injury update
Kieran Tierney last featured for the Gunners in a 3-0 victory against Newcastle United on 18th January. He suffered an injury in his right leg. The injury looked serious at first glance and could have taken him months to return.
However, according to The Athletic, the Scotland international’s problem should not be a major concern. But his return date is still unknown. The injury was described as a ‘discomfort in the right lower leg’ by the club. But the scans highlighted nothing of concern. There are suggestions that the issue might be due to fatigue.
Arsenal has very much missed the 23-year old. He has the ability to bomb forward from the left flank and put crosses in. Also, his ability to disrupt the opponent’s flow of the game. He has been Arsenal’s most consistent performers this season.
The injury update will be music to Arteta’s ears. The games are coming thick and fast, with Arsenal playing Leeds United at the Emirates in the Premier League on Sunday. Also, they have the first-leg of their Europa League tie against Benfica next week. Arteta would hope all his first-team players are available for the upcoming games, as they try to resurrect their underwhelming season.