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Arsenal intensify Ryan Bertrand pursuit as Gunners aim to complete transfers early

Ryan Bertrand

 

A fresh insight into Arsenal’s interest in the signature of Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand has been forthcoming on Sunday evening.

Defensive woes

The left-back spot at the Emirates has of course proven something of a problem area to this point in the campaign.

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

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

In turn, with such a dearth of natural options in reserve following Sead Kolasinac’s January loan departure, Mikel Arteta has been 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, in recent weeks, Granit Xhaka, have been fielded in the position, all to varying degrees of success.

Arsenal intensify Ryan Bertrand pursuit as Gunners aim to complete transfers early

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 upon 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.

And, if the latest word stemming from the media on Sunday is to be believed, then those in a position of power at the Emirates are already working towards exactly that.

As revealed by transfer insider The AFC Bell, widely regarded as reliable when it comes to all things Gunners, interest in one left-back target has moved up a notch over the last 72 hours.

The player in question? Ryan Bertrand.

It is claimed that the pursuit on the part of Edu Gaspar and co. has now reached ‘a serious stage’.

An alternative target is also being taken into consideration, but, as things stand, Southampton stopper Bertrand – whose contract is due to expire in the summer – is priority no.1.

This comes as Arsenal’s transfer chiefs move to tie up agreements ahead of the official opening of the window next month:

 

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This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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