Arsenal: 'Extraordinary' £16.8m target could challenge Emirates favourite

Mikel Arteta taking charge of a Premier League game for Arsenal

Arsenal target Aaron Hickey could ‘learn under’ fellow full-back and compatriot Kieran Tierney if he moves to the club, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The highly-rated 19-year-old has been linked with a move away from Bologna in recent weeks after enjoying a very successful campaign for the Serie A outfit.

What is the latest news involving Hickey?

Hickey made the bold decision to turn down the advances of Bayern Munich to sign for the Rossoblù in September 2020 after rising to prominence for Hearts in his homeland.

And the Scotland international has gone from strength to strength ever since, registering five goals and one assist in 48 appearances for Bologna across all competitions.

The impressive performances put in by Hickey at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara have reportedly caught the eye of several top teams from across the continent, including Arsenal.

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According to Football.London, the Gunners are interested in bringing the teenager to the club, who is believed to be valued at around €20 million (£16.8m) by his current employers.

However, the north London outfit are not the only side who Hickey is on the radar of, with The Times claiming Brentford are actually leading the charge for Hickey ahead of Newcastle United, Napoli and Arsenal.

What has O’Rourke said about Hickey?

O’Rourke has labelled Hickey a ‘talented young player’ and believes the 6 foot ace could benefit from the tutelage of Tierney should he make the switch to the Emirates Stadium.

In an interview with GiveMeSport, he said: “He’s a talented young player, Hickey; he’s done very well in Serie A with Bologna.

“A Scottish left-back, obviously, him and Kieran Tierney maybe contesting for that left-back spot, and he’s somebody who Hickey could maybe learn under as well.”

How good is Hickey?

Former Hearts boss Daniel Stendel dubbed Hickey an “extraordinary talent” during his time with the Edinburgh outfit, and he has been compared to multiple star players.

The youngster is comfortable at either left-back, right-back or in a defensive midfield role, drawing comparisons to Bayern Munich legend Philipp Lahm and Barcelona great Sergio Busquets.

“He’s so young he could play a lot of positions. He could end up being like Busquets,” said Scottish coach Austin MacPhee.

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While Stendel added: “Aaron as a player is like Philipp Lahm. For me at Hearts, he played as a full-back. He not only runs up and down the line but looks for attacking moves like Lahm once did.”

The similarities between such legends of the game and Hickey highlight his immense potential, and everyone associated with Arsenal will surely be hoping Mikel Arteta can get this deal over the line.

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