90min
Arsenal

The alternatives to Ryan Bertrand that Arsenal should consider signing

Ben Browning
Arsenal have been linked with Bertrand, but other options are out there
Arsenal have been linked with Bertrand, but other options are out there / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
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Kieran Tierney is a key component of Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal, providing an extra man in attack while helping to shore things up in defence.

When fit, he is one of the first names on the team sheet, and has been a rare spark in an otherwise disappointing 2020/21 season. However, Tierney's difficulties with injuries have led to him missing 11 Premier League games, as well as pivotal Europa League ties against Slavia Prague and Villarreal.

In his stead, Cedric Soares, Granit Xhaka and Bukayo Saka have all filled in on the left side of Arsenal’s defence, but none of the trio would claim to be entirely comfortable there. As a result, the Gunners are looking to sign competent cover for Tierney - and one name that's been banded around in the media is Ryan Bertrand, who will leave Southampton on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Kieran Tierney
Tierney's injury woes have cost Arsenal dear / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

But with the former Chelsea approaching his 32nd birthday, there are question marks over whether he is the right profile of player for Arsenal should be pursuing. Yes, he'd help bolster the club's homegrown quota, but is he capable of ably filling in when Tierney is absent and is he really anything more than a short-term fix?

With those doubts in mind, here are five alternatives Arsenal - and Arteta - should perhaps consider during the summer transfer window.


5. Javi Galan

Javi Galan
Galan plies his trade in La Liga / Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Anyone who has played the latest instalment of Football Manager may be familiar with the name Javi Galan, who is currently plying his trade in La Liga with Huesca.

The 26-year-old has been an ever-present this season, and like Tierney is comfortable playing in a back four or as a wingback in a back three. That's not something Bertrand offers, while the Spaniard is also six years the Southampton man's junior.

In terms of his on-field abilities, Galan is more than capable with the ball at his feet - only Lionel Messi completing more successful dribbles this season - and has proven himself to be competent in defence and attack, despite Huesca's struggles.

He likely wouldn't cost a great deal, too, something that will appeal to Arsenal given their limited transfer budget.


4. Josh Doig

Josh Doig
It would be a huge step up in quality for Doig / Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

One for the future perhaps more than the present, Josh Doig is an 18-year-old prospect currently playing for Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership. 

The teenager has made 24 appearances during 2020/21, and is a versatile defender comfortable on either foot. Better still, he's been linked with a move to the Gunners already, and is unlikely to set the club back more than a few million pounds.

Doig's age and room for development is an obvious plus, and although he would count as a homegrown player, the fact he's under 21 would mean Arsenal don't need to register him in their 25-man Premier League squad - a big bonus.


3. Adrien Truffert

Adrien Truffert
Truffert is another teenager playing regular football / Catherine Steenkeste/Getty Images

Over in Ligue 1 there's a similarly talented youngster by the name of Adrien Truffert.

The starting full-back for Rennes at just 19 years of age, Truffert has contributed a goal and four assists in 27 Ligue 1 appearances, and plays in the same side as another coveted wonderkid, Eduardo Camavinga.

More than capable of beating his opposition number in one on one situations, Truffert was recently rewarded for his fine form with a maiden call-up to France's Under-21s, whom he made his debut for in November.

Like Doig, he wouldn't need to be registered for Arsenal's Premier League squad because of his tender years, though one major stumbling block is he's contracted to Rennes until 2025. Still, worth asking the question.


2. Romain Perraud

Romain Perraud
Perraud has a similar skillset to Tierney / FRED TANNEAU/Getty Images

Staying in France, another option that could pique the interest of Arsenal's (newly reformed) scouting department is 23-year-old Romain Perraud.

Currently at mid-table Stade Brest, the French left-back has been in brilliant form during 2020/21, and is a real threat going forward.

Beyond his impressive statistics of three goals and seven assists, Perraud possesses the same passion and commitment to defending that has made Arsenal fans worldwide fall in love with Tierney.

It's that all around ability that makes him an exciting prospect, although he'd be the first to admit that his end product currently lacks consistency.


1. Rico Henry

Rico Henry
Henry has been excellent in the Championship - and looks more than ready to step up in class / Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Probably the most expensive option, Rico Henry has played a major part in Brentford's hugely successful Championship season - which has yielded yet another appearance in the season ending play-offs.

Henry may end up a Premier League player with the Bees, but if promotion fails to materialise you can expect to see a number of clubs queueing up for the signature of a player renowned for marauding up and down the left flank.

Not only does Henry have an excellent engine on him, he's intelligent on and off the ball - creating space for the likes of Ivan Toney to flourish in around the penalty area - and is well versed to keeping the ball for long periods of time.

Southampton, ironically, were credited with an interest in Henry back in April (via the Express) and it's likely that his estimated £15m price tag will hold firm if they don't reach the Premier League. Arsenal could probably afford that, but likely wouldn't be interested if promotion is forthcoming - as his value could conceivably double.

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