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Arsenal come to definitive decision on Ryan Bertrand swoop

Ryan Bertrand

A major update on Arsenal’s pursuit of soon-to-be free agent Ryan Bertrand has come to the fore on Thursday evening.

Defensive woes

The left-back spot proved something of a problem area at the Emirates this past season.

Whilst Kieran Tierney continued to prove himself as one of the Premier League’s finest when fit and available, the Scot was also forced to deal with a series of fitness problems.

All told, Tierney managed starts in just two-thirds of Arsenal’s league outings.

In turn, with such a dearth of natural options in reserve following Sead Kolasinac’s January loan departure, Mikel Arteta was forced to get creative in his efforts to keep the left side of the Gunners’ backline afloat.

A combination of Bukayo Saka, Cedric Soares and even Granit Xhaka were fielded in the position, all to varying degrees of success.

Arsenal come to definitive decision on Ryan Bertrand swoop

LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 14: Cedric of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on March 14, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

All three of the aforementioned options, though, have their drawbacks.

Saka’s are the most obvious, with the youngster’s presence sorely missed further forward when forced into a defensive role in north London.

An element of midfield control, meanwhile, is lost with the oft-maligned Xhaka being pulled away from his berth in the middle of the park, whilst Cedric, despite generally looking solid on the left, is more comfortable on the right.

Bertrand eyed

In turn, it goes without saying that securing ample cover for Kieran Tierney should be an absolute priority for the Arsenal board ahead of next season.

One such player to have been tipped to fill the role of late, meanwhile, has been Ryan Bertrand.

The long-time Southampton star will see his contract at St. Mary’s expire at the end of the month, making him an attractive budget option.

And, as outlined above, on Thursday, an update on Arsenal’s interest in Bertrand has been forthcoming. Any Gunners fans who were keen to see the ex-Chelsea man arrive in north London this summer, however, look set to be disappointed.

As per reliable insider The AFC Bell, the board at the Emirates have come to the decision to bring an end to their interest in Bertrand.

Instead, Edu and co. are said to remain in talks with an unnamed, and considerably younger, alternative target. This comes with Mikel Arteta evidently keen to develop an option for the future, whilst not unsettling clear first-choice Tierney.

 

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This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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