Aaron Hickey is set to join the Premier League after Bologna agreed on a deal with Arsenal for the left-back. The Scottish player who formerly played for Hearts has been sensational in Serie A since joining in the summer of 2020. Hickey made his Scotland debut in March when he played both games against Austria and Poland.
Arsenal have reportedly beaten heavyweights AC Milan and Napoli to secure the signature. The Gunners have struck an agreement to sign the defender for around €20-25 million. Nuno Tavares is currently the backup for long-term injured player Kieran Tierney and has been giving average performances. Hence, Arsenal seem to be going for Aaron Hickey, another Scotsman to provide cover for Tierney. He can operate on both flanks and can provide cover for Takehiro Tomiyasu as well.
When asked if he anticipated a busy summer in terms of player recruiting, Arteta responded:
“I am expecting so, yes. I think both competitions [the Champions League and Europa League] require a much larger squad because the amount of games you play is much bigger in both, so I don’t think [which you qualify for] makes a lot of difference or changes a lot.”
Arsenal’s Left-back Crisis
Kieran Tierney has been sidelined due to a knee injury since March and ruled out for the rest of the season. Similarly, Tomiyasu spent two months on the sidelines due to a calf injury and recently returned to action. With Champions League football in sight for next season, it is important that squad depth is maintained. The full-back positions have become sources of attacking outlets for most teams like Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea. So Arsenal need to maintain the same quality in those positions to win games against the top four.
Aaron Hickey- Player Profile
The Scotsman joined the Serie A club, Bologna, from Scottish side Heart of Midlothian in September 2020 for a mere €1.70m. This season, he has found the back of the net five times and provided one assist in 33 league appearances (stats via Transfermarkt) for the Italian club. Hickey’s goal-scoring ability down the flanks has made him an asset for any club.
His attacking style of play is supported by his aggression in games. He shows a desire to chase after balls and make interceptions. He can play out of tight situations easily and is happy to get into the midfield zone to bring out the ball into space. The Scotsman is compared to Joshua Kimmich, who can shift between defence and midfield depending on the situation of the game.
Hickey’s strengths lie in retrieving the ball with a last-ditch challenge, before starting a new attack with skill. Bologna’s clean sheets this season were indicative of Hickey’s defensive work. The youngster was nominated for the Golden Boy award in 2021.
Arsenal have agreed on a fee between £17 and £21 million for Aaron Hickey, according to Italian reports! 💰
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) May 14, 2022
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According to Football Scotland, before the new season sets in motion, Mikel Arteta will be seeking to strengthen the squad. He intends to develop as well as brush up the squad by bringing in young talent to the Emirates Stadium. Aaron Hickey could be an intelligent investment for Arsenal – cheap and reliable.
Bologna have a good rapport with Arsenal after having negotiated a deal for Takehiro Tomiyasu last summer. Arsenal are also short on right-backs as first-choice Takehiro Tomiyasu just recovered from a calf injury. Through most parts of this season, Cedric Soares, Granit Xhaka and Nuno Tavares played covered the left-back region when Tierney was injured.
Moreover, the Bologna left-back is just 19-years-old, therefore the Gunners can rely on the player for the long term. He has already proven his skills in the Serie A and could further enhance his reputation by playing in the Premier League. His defensive qualities would likewise add value to Arteta’s squad.
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