Bologna defender Aaron Hickey has shown he’s capable of contributing at ‘both ends of the pitch’ this season, according to journalist Conor Clancy amid growing speculation over an imminent move to Manchester City.
In 2020, the Scotsman made the bold decision to leave his homeland and moved to the Serie A in order to progress in his career, a choice that is now paying dividends.
What is the latest news involving Hickey?
The 19-year-old switched between boyhood club Hearts and Celtic during his youth before ending up back at Tynecastle following a four-year stint away.
Hickey then became the youngest ever player to feature in a Scottish Cup Final at just 16 years and 348 days old when the Edinburgh outfit lost 2-1 to the Hoops in the 2018/19 showpiece event.
After making just 34 appearances for Hearts, the versatile full-back reportedly turned down the advances of Bayern Munich in favour of a move to the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara as he sought regular game time.
Despite enduring a difficult maiden campaign at Bologna where he started just 10 top-flight fixtures and required surgery on an injury, Hickey has been able to showcase his true potential this time around.
In his opening 19 Serie A outings of 2021/22, the youngster has illustrated his ability to become a serious threat in the final third, racking up four league goals already.
However, Hickey has also remained dominant in his defensive duties. As per WhoScored, the 6 foot gem has averaged 1.1 tackles, 0.9 interceptions and 1.1 dribbles per league game this term.
What has Clancy said about Hickey?
The youngster’s outstanding displays have seen him linked with several Premier League sides in recent weeks, as well as a shock return to Celtic.
The Football Terrace: Full match reaction as Man United seal 1-0 FA Cup win over Aston Villa
According to Italian outlet CalcioMercato, City, Burnley and the Glasgow giants are all in the running for his signature, and Clancy believes they would be getting a player capable of contributing in both the attacking and defensive phases of the game.
He told GiveMeSport: “He’s only had one really bad game this season, but he’s scored four times. So, he’s showing that he’s able to contribute at both ends of the pitch.”
Would Manchester City be a good move for Hickey?
At present, Oleksandr Zinchenko is the only natural option for Pep Guardiola on the left-hand side of defence, with Joao Cancelo often filling in throughout the first half of the season.
A move to the Etihad Stadium should present the opportunity for regular game time for Hickey then, and the appeal of working with an esteemed coach such as Guardiola will surely also be a huge pulling factor.
The Spanish tactician has overseen the development of young players such as Lionel Messi, Joshua Kimmich and Phil Foden during his time in the dugout, something Hickey may consider when making his next move.