According to Daily Star, Arsenal are ready to challenge Premier League rivals Liverpool in the race to sign Southampton defender Matt Targett. The emerging left-back saw his game-time limited by Ryan Bertrand during the 2018/19 campaign and a move away from St.Mary’s Stadium could be on the horizon this summer.
However, the Gunners could face stiff competition from several Premier League clubs in the pursuit of Targett, who is reportedly courted by Newcastle United, Liverpool and Aston Villa among many others. It is believed that he could be available on a cut-price after failing to make an impact in the Southampton first-team this past season.
Targett’s struggles at Southampton
A product of the Southampton youth academy, Targett broke into the scene during the 2015/16 campaign, where he made 14 league appearances for Saints. But, although his talent and potential was obvious, the 23-year-old has never really managed to break into Southampton’s starting lineup.
Targett’s failure to dethrone Bertrand as the club’s number one left-back led to his move to Fulham at the start of last year in a six-month loan deal. And the defender played a crucial role in left-back, ultimately helping the Cottagers return to the Premier League. He made 18 appearances during the corresponding campaign, scoring one goal and providing two assists.
But, the 23-year-old has once again struggled at Southampton this past season, making only 16 league appearances. And it is unlikely he will have any future under the tutelage of Ralph Hasenhuttl next season.
What can Targett provide to the table?
Targett is mainly known for his impressive attacking contribution and his tendency to move forward with the ball at every given opportunity. The Southampton fullback can camp himself in the opposition half and provide extensive offensive support from the flank.
He can also make overlapping runs in behind the defence and provide dangerous crosses into the box. He has notably averaged 1.4 key passes per game, most of which have come from crosses.
Stat courtesy: Whoscored
Should Arsenal make a move for Targett?
Targett could be an excellent signing for Arsenal as he can provide some solid backup as well as competition to Sead Kolasinac. The Bosnian has struggled with lack of consistency, meaning the 23-year-old will also have an excellent opportunity to break into the Arsenal lineup.
However, what makes Targett such an appealing target for the North-London giants is that he is likely to be available for a cut-price, which should bode well for the Gunners as they are operating with a slender budget this summer.
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