Mikel Arteta on summer transfer plans
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta can solve two squad issues with the signing of Scottish youngster Aaron Hickey. The Bologna ace has been linked with a move to the Emirates this summer and his versatility could be key for the Gunners.
Arsenal are set to be in the market for at least one full-back in the upcoming window. The likes of Djed Spence and Tino Livramento have been linked as right-back targets.
But the form of Nuno Tavares of late on the opposite side of defence has been a concern. The Portuguese left-back has struggled while filling in for the injured Kieran Tierney.
Hickey, 19, has spent the majority of his career at Bologna at left-back but has previously spoken of his dream to play in the Premier League. Football.london claims Hickey is being targeted by Arsenal as a replacement for Tavares.
However, he has also featured as a right-back and right wing-back. He could therefore provide backup to both Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Hickey is equally good with both feet. The Guardian claims coaching staff at his former club Hearts did not know which was his preferred foot due to being comfortable with using either.
Arsenal’s main aim in the summer window is likely to be strengthening their strikeforce. Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah are both out of contract at the end of the season and could leave on free transfers.
Strikers come at a premium and the Gunners will need all the money they can get to bring in one or two new players in that position. Therefore, signing a player like Hickey who can cover two roles could be a smart piece of business from Arteta.
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In an interview in late 2022, Hickey confirmed he would like to play in the Premier League in the future. He told the Guardian: “It’s a good feeling knowing there is interest from big clubs,” he says.
“For now my head is in Bologna but I want to try and go to one of the big clubs in the Premier League or similar. That would be the ultimate thing for any footballer.”
The lure of learning from someone like Kieran Tierney could also attract Hickey to Arsenal. Hickey spent four years in the academy at Celtic, the club Tierney made 170 appearances for before moving to the Emirates.
Hickey has already made his debut for Scotland. He came on as a substitute in the two friendlies against Poland and Austria in March.
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