According to Daily Mail, Arsenal have set their sights on Ryan Bertrand. The Southampton defender has announced that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season, putting the Gunners on red alert. Arsenal, in fact, have intensified talks with Bertrand over a free transfer to Emirates recently, although they could face stiff competition from newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City.
Ryan Bertrand: An Accomplished Premier League Fullback
A product of the Chelsea youth academy, Ryan Bertrand has been on the Premier League scene for a long time now. While he was mostly at the fringes at Stamford Bridge, the left-back made his breakthrough in the top-flight with Southampton during the 2014/15 campaign.
Bertrand has come a long way since, making a total of 240 appearances for the Saints in all competitions. He has been a first-team regular with the club for seven seasons now, having featured in over 250 matches in the English top flight.
Over the years, the Englishman has impressed the onlookers with his offensive prowess. He can make excellent overlapping runs out wide and is also proficient at rotating possession.
In recent times, Bertrand has improved his defensive game as well, becoming a real leader at the back for Southampton. However, after seven years at St. Mary’s Stadium, the fullback has decided to run his contract down that expires at the end of the season, meaning he will be available as a free agent this summer.
Is Bertrand A Good Option For Arsenal?
Arsenal are bracing themselves for a radical overhaul in their defensive unit this summer. One of their main weaknesses is the left-back department, where Kieran Tierney is currently the only recognised option available at the disposal of Mikel Arteta.
While Sead Kolasinac and Ainsley Maitland-Niles are set to return from their respective loan spells this summer, neither of them are likely to have a future at Emirates. It leaves Arteta devoid of options and that is where someone like Ryan Bertrand could make a lot of sense.
As mentioned earlier, the former Chelsea starlet has a vast amount of experience at the highest level of football. His experience, leadership and skill could make him a useful component in an Arsenal backline that needs guidance at the moment.
From a sporting perspective, Bertrand will provide backup for Tierney, but given the Scot’s injury record, he might even emerge as a regular starter for the Gunners next season. And for a free transfer, the Southampton star could indeed be a bargain for Arteta this summer.