Four excellent right-back targets that could replace Hector Bellerin at Arsenal

Has Bellerin run his race at Arsenal? We look at alternatives that the Gunners should be looking at…

1) Tariq Lamptey: The former Chelsea academy graduate might be the perfect solution to Arsenal’s right-back woes. Before the emergence of Bukayo Saka at the unusual right-wing position, that side of the team was highly ineffective when Arsenal pushed to score goals. The left flank was where Arsenal showed signs of real quality. The combination between Tierney and Aubameyang was crucial to the team’s last season FA Cup success. If Arsenal do add Lamptey in the summer, the prospect of linking up with Saka would be pretty enticing. Lamptey is one of the quickest players in world football at the moment. Last year in September, in a game against Newcastle United, the 20-year-old clocked an astonishing average speed of 22.8 miles per hour. That speed pushed him into a top 10 list of the fastest players of 2020 which included the likes of PSG’s Kylian Mbappe and Arsenal’s Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.

This is a player who was a teenager just five months ago and displaced players with vast experience such as Martin Montoya and Ezequiel Schelotto at Brighton who had earlier plied their trade at heavyweights Barcelona, Real Betis, Inter Milan, Sporting CP. His weaknesses, if any, lies in aerial duels. But his lightning pace easily covers any deficiencies the young fullback has. The low center of gravity helps him on pouncing on loose balls. It also helps him in wriggling past his opponents without much effort. Given Bellerin’s lack of athleticism, he has been used most effectively as an inverted full-back by Arteta. But with the addition of Lamptey, Arsenal will have the armoury as well as the ammunition for penetrating their opponents.

2) Achraf Hakimi: The 22-year-old has been linked to a switch to Arsenal in the last couple of summer transfer windows. Even though that switch never materialized, it does not mean that the current FA Cup holders are not currently tracking his progress. The North-London giants are one of many who would try to dangle a carrot in front of their wanted horse. The Moroccan international has been exceptional in increasing the output of the teams he has played in. In the current campaign, the former Real Madrid full-back has six goals and six assists in Serie A for Inter.

His drives into the penalty box of the opponents has been dangerous and effective, as was the case when he was in Germany. In his two-year spell at Dortmund, he made 29 goal contributions. Pinpoint crosses, pace, aerial ability is what the young full-back can be relied upon. The partnership between Kieran Tierney, 23, and Achraf Hakimi ,22, can blossom in the Premier League for several years. Given the player already has a desire to play in England, the biggest task at Edu’s hands would be whether the higher echelons at the club can finance another expensive deal, like they did on the deadline day in October for Thomas Partey.

aarons

3) Max Aarons: One of the best under radar players is none other than Norwich City’s Max Aarons. Even though The Canaries hardly appeared on the headlines in the team’s Premier League campaign last season, his performances were duly noticed by the onlookers. The lung-bursting runs from his own half, Aarons gave the opposition team’s left-backs a constant headache. Still only 20, the English full-back attracted interest from Spurs and Bayern Munich in the summer. Whilst, he hardly came close to joining any club, that same notion happening again seems unlikely. Given that he’s a homegrown player, the acquisition of the Norwich star will make a lot of sense, in the post Brexit era.

4) James Justin: Ask any Leicester fan who has been one of the most constant performers in their fantastic run so far, and one name which might be called out several times will be “James Justin.” The 22-year-old has been exceptional for Brendan Rodgers’ side. The former Luton Town player has an ability to play at both full back positions with equal effect. Being a right-footer has not stopped the Leicester boss in utilizing Justin at the left-back spot. He has played 5 more games (13) at the left-back spot than his own preferred position of right-back (7). Mikel Arteta’s fondness of the “Switching Positions” formations would make their endeavors to land the Leicester man pretty rational. He has even played center-back, left and right midfield for the Foxes. This is a player who is knocking on Gareth Southgate’s Euros squad and the acquisition of the 22-year-old will be exceptional, if not perfect.

Thank you for reading…

My Twitter handle is @yarsenal09

-Yash Bisht!

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Tags Bellerin Hakimi Justin Lamptey Max Aarons

35 Comments

  1. Dan kit says:

    Not going to happen as Arteta as trust in him and he’s upped his game this season .
    I would think Arsenal have priorities in other positions first anyway ,a left back needed as Tierney is injury prone by the looks of it .
    A midfield partner for Partey and a new centre forward be my guess at the postions the club are looking at .

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hi, Dan. Arteta indeed trusts Bellerin and sees him as “one of the leaders” of the dressing room, but signing Cedric while already having Maitland-Niles as an option spoke volumes. In my opinion, he wants a right-back who can charge up and down the field but who also can play as an inverted full-back, which Tierney has done to great effect.

      1. Declan says:

        Hopefully Cedric will play instead of Bellerin today with Sake at left back.

  2. ROY says:

    I prefer Lamptey over the others

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hey, Roy! Lamptey is a very exciting prospect. Even I would love it if he joins Arsenal.

  3. Prabhat says:

    Hakimi is an exciting prospect for the whole Europe. Arsenal can consider themselves lucky if they could get their hands on his signing.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      While I was researching, I read about 7 to 8 clubs who were or are interested in signing him. But signing Thomas Partey was a statement of intent. Won’t be surprised if the pulling power of Arteta strikes back!

  4. gotanidea says:

    RB should’ve been our last concern, since we’ve got Bellerin, Soares, Maitland-Niles and Chambers. About the recommendation:

    – Lamptey: Shorter than Bellerin, so we’d have the same aerial weakness issue
    – Hakimi: Great talent, but he would cost a fortune because he just extended his contract
    – Aarons: Could be good, but he’d be pricey due to his contract length and being English
    – Justin: Similar problems to Aarons and he just got ACL torn

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hi there! The right-back slot has been extremely ineffective when it has come to creating chances or threatening the opponents. If you ask for my opinion, RB should not be Arsenal’s “last concern.”

      1. gotanidea says:

        We’d likely have a small transfer budget in the summer, because of our transfer/ contractual mistakes and we could be out of European competition next season. Therefore we need to be highly prudent in spending the budget

        The LB department should’ve been the first priority, since Tierney is so injury-prone. If we could sell Lacazette, then the next priority should be a new CF or false nine

        1. Yash Bisht says:

          The Athletic recently reported that Arsenal will look at a player who is emerging and has vast potential for the left-back slot. Thus, I believe the outlay needed there won’t be huge. Also, keep an eye on the site. An exciting article about Lacazette and Aubameyang is coming 😉

  5. Hardika Gupta says:

    Very informative and v well written. Go Gunners.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Cheers, Hardika! Glad you liked it.

  6. Danny says:

    Why would any of them want to sign for a club challenging for nothing and no ambition to do anything and with a clueless manager in charge!! These players will join bigger clubs and challenge for trophies something we are can’t offer so in a nutshell we will sign some 3rd division youngster to fill the void!!

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hi, Danny! Your frustration is completely understandable. But none of the names I mentioned are world-class players. They are good players who have vast potential. Arsenal don’t have the resources to splash the cash on the elite players just now. But they can follow the footsteps of Liverpool, who were in a similar position before appointing Klopp.

  7. Venky x 20 says:

    Good job mate , very informative and wonderfully expressed

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Pleased that you liked it, Venky!

  8. Henry Lwanga says:

    We must take a look at English players as the law says , and this makes arsenal hated by referees in England

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Finally, we have something else to talk about rather than Arsenal’s bad performances! Cheers!

  9. siamois says:

    None of them are going to happen! Lamptey has recently signed a new long term contract with Brighton Inter have already expressed their intention to make Hakimi loan a permanent signing Justin why would he leave Leicester city?European football, team playing attractive football with very good young players(their future as a team is bright)very good manager who trust him and gave him his break and everybody knows that they don’t sell their players cheaply so we cannot afford him and Aarons who has the likes of Bayern after him!

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Arsenal were well aware of the fact that Lamptey was going to sign an extension. It isn’t an issue as the market price is believed to remain the same, which is reported to be around 25m euros.

  10. Naresh says:

    Superb and insightful article, Yash! Keep on bringing the good stuff.

  11. Parth says:

    I would prefer Lamptey or Hakimi all day long. They have the ability to take Arsenal to the next level. Well researched article I must say. Good job fella 👍

  12. Uwot? says:

    A double raid on Brighton.Lamptey & Bissouma.£50 million & and one of our deadwood ought to cover it.Job done.Nuffield said.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hey, Uwot! That’s a great deal and to be honest, was on the back of my mind for the past two years haha

      1. Yash Bisht says:

        months* …apologies

  13. Grandad says:

    In my opinion Justin is a cut above Aarons or Lamptey neither of whom are great defensively.Unfortunately Justin is likely to be out for some time with a ACL injury.Never seen Hakimi so cannot comment on him.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hi there! Justin is indeed a very complete player who can play on either side of the defense, not to mention that he has already played CB and two midfield positions! It would be very difficult for Arsenal to prize him away from Leicester.

  14. Ssentongo Ibrahim says:

    Achraf Hakimi is European world class tarent. He is used to 💶 football than other candidate s. We need quality but I will not agree to sell Bellerin because atop club has to be with a big threat backup.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hey Ibrahim! I completely understand your point of view. But I believe the signing of Cedric was really shrewd and he can provide the necessary back-up until the new signing(if Arsenal do end up signing an RB and subsequently selling Bellerin) acclimatizes to a new league and team.

  15. RSH says:

    Hakimi would cost too much. Justin is out with an ACL tear now. Lamptey signed a new contract and would probably price us out…. Aarons is having another good season and Arsenal should go for it. Hector needs replacing.

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Aarons would be a good signing, RSH!

  16. Sid says:

    Hey there. Nice article. Just have some observations.
    1. Lamptey- short, weak in the air, and although pacy has suffered a recent injury. Not that special or better than HB imo.
    2. Hakimi- creme de la creme of the European Rightbacks. But in addition to the obvious cost, he seems an ultra attacking rb who might make our defensive side a little weak?
    3. Aarons- great prospect, but dont know much about his contract so might be expensive.
    4. Justin- one of the best Rbs in the Prem at the moment, but has suffered an ACL, the bane for fast footballers(just ask Bellerin). Also Leicester are currently in a better position than Arsenal and the switch would be unlikely.
    There are maybe others you might have missed out, the most obvious being Crystal Palace’s 21 year old RB, Tyrick Mitchell who is free in the summer.
    COYG!

    1. Yash Bisht says:

      Hi there Sid! Just to correct you, Tyrick Mitchell plays as a left-back and not a right-back. And I disagree with your opinion on Lamptey. I think he is a better dribbler, defender, and passer of the ball than Bellerin.
      Cheers, mate!

      1. Sid says:

        yeah sorry about that lol. Respect your opinion on Lamptey. Cheers!

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