There has been much discussion of late regarding Arsenal’s left-back options for next season, and there have been some suggestions that it would be preferable for one of the club’s existing youngsters to provide backup to Kieran Tierney.
At present, however, there isn’t an outstanding option ready to step up who has proven himself at U23 level.
Tolaji Bola is the most experienced academy left-back at the age of 22, but he wasn’t particularly impressive during a loan spell at Rochdale.
The fact that Bola was overlooked when Arsenal didn’t have any senior left-backs available suggests that his future is likely to lie away from Emirates Stadium.
Joel Lopez, meanwhile, was named on the bench in the Europa League but has yet to make a senior appearance of any description.
Much was expected of the Spaniard when he arrived from Barcelona in 2018, but, if truth be told, he hasn’t quite developed as quickly as hoped.
When Hector Bellerin was progressing through the ranks from the U18s to the reserves there was always a feeling that he would be the club’s first-choice right-back eventually. There just isn’t the same certainty regarding Lopez on the opposite side of the pitch.
It is still possible that the 19-year-old could succeed at Arsenal, but he is in desperate need of a loan spell in order to improve his positional sense and also develop him physically.
Arsenal have two promising left-backs in the U18s, with Mazeed Ogungbo and Henry Jeffcott both highly thought of at the club. Both players need greater experience at U23 level before they can be considered for first-team action.
Overall, it appears that if Arsenal want to add a left-back to their first-team squad this summer then the individual in question will have to come from elsewhere as opposed to being an internal solution.