Arsenal Transfers: 5 Right-Backs the Gunners Could Realistically Target This Summer

Before we start, let's cast our eyes towards one of the latest uploads on Arsenal's official YouTube channel. Cédric Soares really put his heart and soul into that 'day in the life of...' video. 

Through no fault of his own, this has been the Portuguese defender's most notable contribution at the club since he joined on a short-term loan at the end of the January transfer window. 

Why are we talking about Cédric Soares? Well, because he's a right-back – and the club signing him just three months ago suggests that Mikel Arteta was keen to strengthen the position. Hector Bellerin's fitness was a cause for concern, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles is no longer viewed a viable option.

So, when the next transfer window opens, it's quite likely the right-back position will be high up on Arteta's agenda. The Spaniard has already demonstrated how important the full-back role is in his system, and will no doubt be keen to ensure he has someone who can either back up or challenge Bellerin going into next season. 

So, 90min has drawn up a five-man shortlist of potential right-back options the club could pursue. Some of them are slightly more inspiring options than others!

Achraf Hakimi (Real Madrid)

Achraf Hakimi

Hakimi is certainly the most exciting right-back the Gunners could dream of acquiring. To be fair, per The Athletic, the club have been "credited with a keen interest, attracted as much by his versatility and excellence across a number of positions".

The 21-year-old has spent the last two years on loan at Borussia Dortmund, and to say his career has taken off would be a bit of an understatement. It would be surprising if Real Madrid (his parent club) would entertain the idea of losing Hakimi, but it is a ​distinct possibility, especially given the fee he would command, and the long list of potential suitors. 

Even if Madrid decide to cash in, ​Arsenal would be just one among a multitude of substantially wealthier European heavyweights vying for his signature. Still, the Gunners have been linked, Hakimi has suggested he's open to leaving the Bernabéu, so it's basically a done deal!

Potential Price: £50-60m

Cédric Soares (Southampton)

Poor Cédric, he hasn't had the most fruitful of beginnings since joining Arsenal on ​deadline day in January. He turned up to his medical in a knee brace for goodness sake!

Anyway, the Southampton man didn't manage to get on the pitch as he worked his way back from injury, and now the chances of him playing a single minute for the club look ever slimmer. It's worth pointing out that this a guy who started for Portugal as they won the Euros in 2016!

However, if Mikel Arteta fancied him a couple of months ago, then the prospect of signing him as a free agent at the end of the season could yet come to fruition. It would make sense financially, and he certainly has the experience to suggest he would prove a suitable backup for Bellerin. 

Potential Price: Free

Max Aarons (Norwich City)

Max Aarons

Max Aarons' impressive performances for ​Norwich City​ this season have seen his stock rise ever further. He's still only 20 years old, but has already shown himself capable of dealing with the demands of competing in the Premier League week in, week out. 

The young Englishman's long-term future at Norwich is uncertain - would the club really turn down a handsome wad of cash given they are facing the prospect of relegation? Probably not. Oh, and ​Tottenham have long been mooted as a potential destination.

But, with Bellerin likely to be sticking around, it's unlikely that Arsenal place £30m on the table. That doesn't take away the fact he'd suit Arteta's style, and he's a player whose profile will certainly attract Arsenal's attention. 

Potential Price: £20-30m

Thomas Meunier (PSG)

Thomas Meunier

Now this would be the perfect opportunity for Raul Sanllehi, Arsenal's 'Head of Football', to consult his famous contacts book and engineer a move for Thomas Meunier. 

His contract is up at PSG come the end of the season, and the Gunners have previously expressed concrete interest in acquiring the Belgian's services. He's certainly got the CV, both at club and international level, so you can understand if the club consider him a target.

But, Meunier would command a hefty old salary, and is unlikely to be content alternating with Bellerin for the starting right-back spot. If PSG no longer fancy him, is he a guy that Arsenal should be pursuing? We're not entirely convinced...

Potential Price: Free

Nathan Ferguson (West Brom)

Nathan Ferguson,Kasey Palmer

We thought we'd chuck Nathan Ferguson into the mix, even if he hasn't really been talked about as a potential transfer target for the Gunners. In any case, the 19-year-old might prove to be an interesting prospect for the club to consider. 

First, he'll be a free agent once his contract at West Brom is up at the end of the season. Second, he looks keen to make the step up to the Premier League - ​Crystal Palace came close to signing him in January, only for the deal to be scuppered by a persistent knee injury.

Wouldn't it be classic Arsenal to announce a brand new signing - Ferguson in this case - only for him to spend the rest of the season on the sidelines because he was already injured? Chin up Cédric, you're not alone!

Potential Price: Free

Source : 90min