Arsenal will target the signing of a new left-back during the summer as Mikel Arteta seeks natural cover for the injury-prone Kieran Tierney.
Tierney has established himself as an important figure for the north London side since signing from Celtic in 2019 but has struggled with a number of injury problems, the Scotland international missing the 1-0 defeat at Aston Villa this weekend with what has been described as a “discomfort in the right lower leg”.
Cedric Soares deputised at left-back at Villa Park and it was the defender’s mistake which led to the game’s only goal, with Arsenal lacking specialist left-footed cover for Tierney amongst their current options.
Mikel Arteta has used Cedric and Ainsley Maitland-Niles as cover for the full-back positions, though both players are right-footed and the latter was allowed to depart on loan for West Brom in search of regular first-team football last week.
According to The Athletic, reinforcements will be targeted during the summer given Tierney’s injury record since arriving at the Emirates, with Ryan Bertrand and Patrick van Aanholt two players linked with the Gunners during the winter window.
Both players have entered the final months of their respective contracts at Southampton and Crystal Palace, though it is understood neither full-back came under ‘serious consideration’ in January.
Arsenal’s plans reportedly include the targeting of a young player with potential for further improvement, though any addition will need the experience required to cover Tierney should the 23-year-old suffer further injury problems.