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Arsenal

Norwich right-back Max Aarons would be the perfect signing for Arsenal this summer

Ross Jackson
Max Aarons could be on his way to Arsenal this summer
Max Aarons could be on his way to Arsenal this summer / Dan Istitene/Getty Images
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Saying Arsenal's squad needs a bit of a revamp is like claiming the recent Super League debacle the north London club was embroiled in wasn't really welcomed by fans with open arms.

Stuff like that doesn't need to be said out loud, it's just common knowledge.

Arsenal v Everton - Premier League
Arsenal supporters protest against the owners / Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Given the Gunners' need for reinforcements in just about every position on the pitch, eyebrows may have been raised at the club's apparent willingness to part ways with Hector Bellerin this summer.

The Spain international has been a mainstay in the Arsenal back line for nearly seven seasons now, with Barcelona reportedly monitoring his performances for a number of years. However, just because he's attracting interest from one of European football's behemoths and he's a regular in a frankly subpar team doesn't mean the club shouldn't be looking to upgrade.

The 26-year-old has proven time and time again that he's a liability when asked to complete defensive duties and while he has the pace to bail himself out more often than not, the limited quality he offers in an attacking sense doesn't warrant his place in the team.

90min exclusively revealed recently that Mikel Arteta is willing to listen to offers for his countryman, with Norwich starlet Max Aarons lined up as Bellerin's replacement.

Hector Bellerin seems to be on his way out of Arsenal
Hector Bellerin seems to be on his way out of Arsenal / Julian Finney/Getty Images

Offloading a Spanish international for a player who has spent the majority of his career in the second tier? It might sounds like Arsenal's dubious transfer policy is about to strike again, but believe us when we tell you it's an absolute stroke of genius.

The Canaries have discovered a knack for developing quality defensive talents of late with both Ben Godfrey and Jamal Lewis earning Premier League moves after honing their craft at Carrow Road.

You may wonder why the pair have already secured moves back to the top flight and Aarons has spent this season playing in the Championship if he's so special, but the truth is Norwich did absolutely everything they could to keep Aarons at Carrow Road.

Bayern Munich and Barça have both been credited with an interest in the 21-year-old in recent times, but Norwich have stayed strong knowing full well he's far from a one-season wonder and his value will only increase year on year.

Max Aarons with the England Under-21 squad
Max Aarons with the England Under-21 squad / Marcio Machado/Getty Images

One of the biggest compliments you can pay the youngster is that it's really difficult to pinpoint just which facet of his game is the most impressive. Not only is Aarons pacy, energetic and one of the finest one-on-one defenders you're likely to see, he's also a hugely underrated footballer.

The England Under-21 international isn't the kind of full-back who relies on balls being pumped over the top so he can utilise his pace to get away from the opposition. He can link up play with the midfield and has the ability to play in triangles of possession which have been key to Norwich's style of play under Daniel Farke.

Given the type of football Arteta is trying to instil in his Arsenal side right now, Aarons is the perfect footballer if the Gunners boss is looking for a right-back who is comfortable taking the ball off his defensive colleagues and can also provide the pace and stamina needed to stretch the opposition.

If you were to pinpoint one aspect of Aarons' game that requires development it would be his tendency to lose concentration when covering the back post.

The 21-year-old has been caught out by looping balls into the far post on a few occasions since establishing himself in the Norwich starting XI, though at 21 years of age there's plenty of time for defensive coaches to work with him and help him develop as a defender.

If the Gunners can secure the signing of Aarons this summer, not only will it be a major coup given some of the teams he's attracted interest from in the past, it'll also be a huge step forward given they'll have two superb full-backs at the club, with Kieran Tierney on the opposite flank, and Arteta's side suddenly have both balance and a threat in the wide areas.

Just the other nine positions (give or take a few) to sort out now, then.


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