Thursday, July 18, 2024

Report: Arsenal closing in on Hickey deal

As one season comes to an end, so the planning for the next begins in earnest.

Arsenal may have squandered the chance to play Champions League football but the return of European action, in the form of the Europa League, means we have to add depth to the squad.

The Gunners have already signed American keeper Matt Turner to provide backup to Aaron Ramsdale, we’re closing in on a deal for Sao Paulo’s teenage striker Marquinhos – earmarked as one for the future – and now attention has turned to another raid on Serie A side Bologna.

After last summer’s successful acquisition of Takehiro Tomiyasu, it’s widely reported that we’re keen on Scotland international Aaron Hickey.

The 19-year-old joined Bologna from Hearts two years ago and has since become a regular under head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic. This season, he’s featured 35 times in Serie A, scoring five goals and making one assist.

Primarily a left-back, Hickey is a versatile operator with experience at centre-back, right-back and even midfield. It’s an attractive mix for Mikel Arteta who harbours concerns about the repeated injury issues experienced by Kieran Tierney and an erratic debut season by Nuno Tavares.

On Monday, Corriere di Bologna claimed a Gunners offer in the region of €20-25 million was imminent. Despite interest from Brentford, Calciomercato now claims a deal taking the Scot to Emirates Stadium is close and “only the last details are missing”.

Having signed Hickey for just £1.5 million – a coup given they faced competition from Bayern Munich – it’s potentially a fine piece of business from a club with a growing reputation for scouting rough diamonds.

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Daz Right

This is great news if we get him. His versatility is the key here. With Saliba coming in too (assuming we can hold onto him) and then the defence is looking a fair bit better than the current get up. I think a loan for Tavares is what’s needed. He needs experience to iron out some of his rough edges

Eric Blair

Definitely. Would be crazy to go into next season with an injury prone first teamer and backup the manager doesn’t trust at left back.

In the end Tavares might come good, but he needs regular football to iron out those wrinkles and he won’t get it here.


Saliba?? He’s a slow, lumbering ocean-liner. He’s having trouble coping in Marseille. Dump him ASAP


Exactly the type of signing we need. I can’t see a way back for Nuno T unfortunately.


He’s still young. A loan move to a fellow PL side might help him. Also once his English improves he’ll very well be acclimatized, who knows.


Hard to see a PL side loaning and regularly playing unproven players these days. I see young players getting PL loans only after proving themselves for a season or two in the Championship.
Chelsea young players take this path to good success.

Man Manny

I remember Gareth Bale started as LFB until Harry Redknapp converted him – though fortuitously – to a winger.
Tavares is deadly, though still raw, in the final third.
It might be a good idea to keep him and try that.
He is also a good wing back.


The only defender I remember as raw as Tavares and making it was Kolo Toure. I think he’s more the kolasenic type but look happy to be proven wrong. One thing is to be at the top table your back up players can’t be that big of a drop off. It’s ok if they aren’t as quick or talented but being hawled off at half time will not cut it


Shouldn’t that be ‘fortunately’…..?


Lovely. I haven’t had a Hickey since in was about 15


I just hope he doesn’t suck

Tomaury Bischfeld

I’m sure he’ll make his mark

The Far Post

As long as he does it in a way that doesn’t leave us embarrassed the next day!

Heavenly Chapecoense

By the way thank you Fatgooner for predicting what happened against Newcastle. You actually thought we would go through but make it difficult for ourselves. The team managed to exceed your educated expectation. We won’t go through.


You never know: Spuds could completely fuck it up at Norwich. If they blew if from here and let us in it would make my century,


Mike too 👍

Mike Too


Bill Hall

If the Spuds blew it at Norwich and we did seal 4th you would hear me laughing for fucking days!


Important to have two left-backs you can trust. Season shouldn’t start to fall apart as soon as there is one injury in the back line.
Arsenal must also sign a backup right-back this summer, or risk another season hinging Tomiyasu’s fitness.

Tommy Gunner

Surely if AMN is willing to accept that reserve RB role, it’s his? Or is he too casual, do we think?


AMN is not a natural right-back. He does not offer a lot in attack, and is not reliable in defense.
For second choice right-back, AMN is not good enough for our top four ambitions.
In my opinion, we need a real defense first right-back as backup. Ben White requires that support.

Crash Fistfight

Would’ve thought Hickey is cover for both sides. He’s right-footed.

Also think Tavares is not as bad as he’s being made out to be. He was fine yesterday and I don’t think taking him off was a good substitution.


One player covering for both full-back positions?
That is just going to get us more Cedric.

Public Elneny

With Saliba coming back, it could free White to play RB when required. Or even Saliba himself, who seems to have at least some of the attributes for it, and I believe has played there a bit before? Maybe take a look at Norton-Cuffy too in pre season to see if he’s ready to play in the Europa group stages

Perhaps not an ideal solution, but probably preferable to Cedric, and could be a way to share more game time between our 3 starting quality centre backs

Jean Ralphio

And Norton cuffy could do a good job too.

Crash Fistfight

Hickey has played both fullback positions and looks very comfortable on his right foot. What I meant by my comment was that Hickey would be first car off the rank if either FB is unavailable/needs resting. If both first choice FBs are not playing (say, for EL games) Hickey can play right back and Tavares left back.

Crash Fistfight

Just to say, I don’t know where this notion came from that Hickey is right-footed. Having watched clips of him, he’s clearly left-footed (although he is very good with his right).

Consider yourself corrected, me.


I’m not ready to call time on Nuno just yet. I thought he was one of our most dangerous players going forward last night. In fact he was beginning to really go at them when we took him off. We lost all attacking momentum then. Certainly, his defensive side needs work but he is still so young. Maybe send him out for a season, although he could easily fill a squad place. Maybe even as cover as a winger?


I think he deserves some credit for getting back into the team after a series of disastrous results and confidence-undermining subs. I’m not sure he’s got what it takes to be a regular, or even a regular back-up, but I’d agree that it’s too soon to give up on him


Has to go out on loan. People talk up his attacking play but that’s based on one thing – his excellent ability to take the ball forward at pace….but the problem is his decision making in the final third, his crossing & his passing are just not up to standard. Right now – even as a winger – he is miles off what is needed.

Crash Fistfight

I don’t think he needs a loan. He can play EL league and other cups.

Bleeding gums murphy

There’s been 5 foul throws in the premiership this season collectively. Taveres has taken 3 of them. The only time in last nights game we got a few minutes of pressure and then he gave possession away with a foul throw and a minute later the season was over.


There are foul throws all the time but only Arsenal seem to be penalised for them, first Hector and now Nuno.


That’s one way of looking at it. Another is that referees are very lax on blowing for foul throws so to get called for it, your attempt at a throw must be absolutely shocking…

Crash Fistfight

Didn’t even look like a foul throw to me. I saw a video on YouTube recently looking at what a foul throw is and it basically said it’s impossible to do one, based on the rules, so refs giving them are making stuff up as they go along.

Tomaury Bischfeld

Good interview with him here – think he would be a great signing – versatile, right age, right mindset, right price. As a Hibs fan I’ll overlook his origins. Maybe John McGinn for the midfield too for a Scottish trio?


Great deal considering the injury record of our fullbacks and the fact Hickey plays both left and right. He should be ready of a lot of minutes.

I like the fact he has some height too.

Kentish Gooner

Just listening to Arsecast Extra and the doorbell music makes me feel slightly better about life.


Arsecast Extra Doorbell music:
Brian de Mercia – Stink Bomb



Taxi for Nuno.

Bleeding gums murphy


Jean Ralphio

Making an important signing quickly is a sign on planning and I like the idea of a plan. They always come together. Hope this is true.


Feels weird to actually be pursuing players so early rather then waiting till 31st August to decide to start our business

Crash Fistfight

I love it when a plan comes together.

Foot Ball

I SUSPECT Hickey would replace Cedric and essentially act as a 3rd choice full back to play on the left or right (I.e. the first player to come in if Tomi or KT aren’t available).


There are persistent stories floating around that Juve are seriously interested in Gabriel and Gabriel is, “according to sources”, interested in “a change of scenery”. Arsenal has previously shown an interest in Arthur. Maybe a swap is on the cards. Maybe Gabriel doesn’t see eye to eye with Arteta; maybe he wants champions league football; maybe he thinks his team-mates lack warrior mentality. Anyone got a clue?
But, if Gabriel did go somewhere, is there a replacement left centre-back available?


I see there was talk about Arsenal offering Gabriel a new contract (existing one runs out in 2025). Maybe he has said “no” and the club has decided it is time to sell. Gabriel is probably worth about 60 – 70 million. That would pay for a swap with Arthur and buy Gabriel Jesus! Tempting.


Happy to be down-voted, but at least provide some input.

Matt P

I hate downvote optionality. Really passive aggressive. Just leave it at upvotes.


I disagree. Downvoting/upvoting gives general consensus about the popularity of a comment. I think the clear consensus here is that selling Gabriel is not an option.

If everyone commented on everything instead of just voting then there’d be far too much input for any sensible debate to be had


Mate, we’ve finally got a decent first choice back four – Arteta won’t need anyone with half a brain telling him that it would be utter madness to break it up before we’ve even finished rebuilding the rest of the side.

The fucking media can write whatever chip paper garbage they want – Gabriel is going nowhere.


The latest stories are that Cherubini (sporting director of Juventus) is coming to London in the next day or two for direct meetings with Arsenal about buying Gabriel and swapping Arthur. That may be a lie, of course. He may be coming to shop in Harrods. But it looks to me as if Juve is earnest about buying Gabriel.
I’m not surprised. Juve desperately needs a replacement for Chiellini and Arsenal are not going to have a 60 mill euro CB sitting on the bench. That means one of White, Gabriel or Saliba has to go. Take your pick.

Bill Hall

If Juve offered 60,000,000 for Gabriel we should bite their fucking hands off. Saliba just got named young player of the year in France, time to let him get stuck into the prem league!


FFS. £60m? Try £100m and it might be worth considering.

We’ve just missed out on Champions League football due to a paper thin squad – and you want us to sell one of our best players, an absolute lynch pin of our defence. 😂

The trick, sunshine, in case you hadn’t guessed, is to BUILD A SQUAD. You know, that means actually having White, Gabriel, Saliba and Holding to rotate at centre back..? Just like the big boys do at City and Liverpool…?

£60m 😂 Phffft. Some of you on here are hard work.


No point BUILDING A SQUAD of center backs. Arsenal needs to build other areas of the squad (midfield/forwards) and that costs dough.


Our defensive situation in the run up to the Newcastle game completely passed you by then, did it…….? Has it occurred to you that both Gabriel and White may have been forced to play less than 100% fit – because we had neither the sufficient numbers of quality and/or experience to back them up? We now sit in 5th place this morning largely due to that, make no mistake. Any Premiership team (never mind one playing in Europe) requires at least four quality centre halves at any given time. Arsenal should at the very least be able to fund the… Read more »

Public Elneny

No way! Gabriel is our player of the season imo. Absolute rock, and so consistent for his experience level. He’s a key building block of the squad, who will be good enough to play for us no matter how far we progress, should do everything we can to keep hold of him. Qualify for the 23/24 CL and there’ll be no rumours of him leaving, these rumours have only popped up because we’ve made a mess of things We need 3 quality CBs anyway. Holding’s good enough to start games here and there, but let’s say one of White or… Read more »



Saliba (as long as he wants to remain) White and Gabriel will all be playing for Arsenal next season.

Cherubini, Juve and whoever writes the crap that you’re wasting precious time you’ll never get back from reading, can all fuck off.


We paid 50M for White. It doesn’t make any sense to sell Gabriel for 60M.


Gabriel is on record as saying he’s happy at Arsenal and not interested in the transfer rumours, the club has no reason to sell one of our best players, Gabriel is going nowhere. Expect stories made up about all our decent players, the hacks have to fill the pages.


One for the future. Get it done.
Sad to also see how AMN is “progressing” under Mouninho in Roma.

Bill Hall

We need a good back-up for Tomi as well, at least one central midfielder and replacements for Lacazette, Eddie and Pepe assuming all three leave

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