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    Arsenal intensify Bertrand pursuit as Gunners aim to complete deals early

    Ryan Bertrand

     

    A fresh insight into Arsenal’s interest in the signature of Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand has been forthcoming on Sunday evening.

    Defensive woes

    The left-back spot at the Emirates has of course proven something of a problem area to this point in the campaign.

    Whilst Kieran Tierney has continued to prove himself as one of the Premier League’s finest when fit and available, the Scot has also been forced to deal with a series of fitness problems.

    All told, Tierney has managed starts in just two thirds of Arsenal’s league outings thus far.

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    In turn, with such a dearth of natural options in reserve following Sead Kolasinac’s January loan departure, Mikel Arteta has been forced to get creative in his efforts to keep the left side of the Gunners’ backline afloat.

    A combination of Bukayo Saka, Cedric Soares and even, in recent weeks, Granit Xhaka, have been fielded in the position, all to varying degrees of success.

    Arsenal intensify Ryan Bertrand pursuit as Gunners aim to complete transfers early

    LONDON, ENGLAND – MARCH 14: Cedric of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur at Emirates Stadium on March 14, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

    All three of the aforementioned options, though, have their drawbacks.

    Saka’s are the most obvious, with the youngster’s presence sorely missed further forward when forced into a defensive role in north London.

    An element of midfield control, meanwhile, is lost upon the oft maligned Xhaka being pulled away from his berth in the middle of the park, whilst Cedric, despite generally looking solid on the left, is more comfortable on the right.

    Bertrand eyed

    In turn, it goes without saying that securing ample cover for Kieran Tierney should be an absolute priority for the Arsenal board ahead of next season.

    And, if the latest word stemming from the media on Sunday is to be believed, then those in a position of power at the Emirates are already working towards exactly that.

    As revealed by transfer insider The AFC Bell, widely regarded as reliable when it comes to all things Gunners, interest in one left-back target has moved up a notch over the last 72 hours.

    The player in question? Ryan Bertrand.

    It is claimed that the pursuit on the part of Edu Gaspar and co. has now reached ‘a serious stage’.

    An alternative target is also being taken into consideration, but, as things stand, Southampton stopper Bertrand – whose contract is due to expire in the summer – is priority no.1.

    This comes as Arsenal’s transfer chiefs move to tie up agreements ahead of the official opening of the window next month:

     

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    This article was edited by
    Josh Barker.

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    Premier League table

    # Team MP D P
    1 Manchester City FC 36 47 83
    2 Manchester United FC 36 28 70
    3 Leicester City FC 36 21 66
    4 Chelsea FC 36 22 64
    5 Liverpool FC 35 20 60
    6 Tottenham Hotspur FC 36 22 59
    7 West Ham United FC 36 10 59
    8 Everton FC 35 4 56
    9 Arsenal FC 36 12 55
    10 Leeds United 36 4 53
    11 Aston Villa FC 36 7 49
    12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 36 -14 45
    13 Crystal Palace FC 36 -21 44
    14 Southampton FC 36 -16 43
    15 Burnley FC 36 -18 39
    16 Newcastle United FC 36 -19 39
    17 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 36 -5 38
    18 Fulham FC 36 -24 27
    19 West Bromwich Albion 35 -36 26
    20 Sheffield United FC 35 -44 17
    Player Team Goals
    Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 22
    Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 22
    Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 17
    Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 17
    Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 16
    Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 15
    Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 13
    Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 13
    Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 13
    Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 12
    Ings, Danny Southampton FC 12
    Wood, Chris Burnley FC 12
    Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 12
    Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 11
    Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 11
    Iheanacho, Kelechi Leicester City FC 11
    Pereira, Matheus West Bromwich Albion 10
    Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 10
    Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 10
    Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 9

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