Arsenal keen to sign Kieran Tierney backup in the summer

Arsenal will make finding cover for left back Kieran Tierney one of their top priorities when the summer transfer window opens.

The 23-year-old Scotland international is the only natural left back in Mikel Arteta's squad, and after normal deputies Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were loaned out to Schalke and West Bromwich Albion respectively, Arsenal seem a little short of options in the position.

Tierney is the only senior left back available | Visionhaus/Getty Images

According to The Athletic's David Ornstein, Arsenal would have liked to sign replacements for the departed duo in January, but club officials were reluctant to pull the trigger on a stop-gap signing when they did not feel the right player was available.

Instead, Arsenal's plan is to continue to use the likes of Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares as cover in the short-term, before dipping into the transfer market to find a suitable backup for Tierney in the summer.

The need to find a new left back has been highlighted in recent weeks. Tierney has missed five of the last six Premier League games with a muscle injury and in his absence Arsenal have managed just one victory - a 3-1 win over Southampton.

Arteta knows the issue needs addressing | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

There is no mention as to whom could be on the radar. Arsenal are thought to be looking for a younger player with both quality and potential, but any signing would need to be prepared to take a back seat to Tierney while they learn the ropes at the Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners hope to steer away from signing an experienced name, which is largely why they did not address this issue in January.

Their younger targets were not available, with names like Southampton's Ryan Bertrand and Crystal Palace's Patrick van Aanholt (31 and 30 respectively) the only candidates mentioned, but it is understood that Arsenal never gave any real thought to signing either.

Bertrand was not under consideration | Robin Jones/Getty Images

Arsenal are confident that they will be able to afford to sign one of their top targets in the summer, particularly after ridding themselves of the wages of Mesut Ozil, Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and potentially a few other players who will be out of contract.

The Gunners were repeatedly linked to Sporting CP left back Nuno Mendes towards the end of 2020, and while the 18-year-old's £62m release clause might take him off the list, it's indicative of the kind of player Arsenal are looking for.

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Source : 90min