Arsenal are eyeing the chance to upgrade their options at left-back by ditching one of two men in return for the signing of Theo Hernandez from AC Milan, according to a report.
Hernandez has been with AC Milan since his 2019 transfer from Real Madrid. Since then, he has developed a reputation for being an attack-minded option at full-back. From 155 appearances for Milan so far, he has contributed 23 goals and 28 assists.
According to a report from Calciomercato.it, Arsenal are now considering Hernandez as a possible transfer target.
Since his contract in Italy is due to last until 2026, Hernandez might cost up to €80million (around £70m). To reach that valuation, Arsenal might make a part-exchange offer.
Indeed, the report claims there could be a “concrete proposal” from the Gunners whereby they would offer cash plus the services of one of their own current left-backs in return.
Either Oleksandr Zinchenko or Kieran Tierney could be put on the table for Milan to lessen the gap between the two clubs in negotiations, it is claimed.
Tierney would seem to be at greater risk, because Arsenal only invested in Zinchenko last summer. He has been a success since his move from Manchester City, keeping the Scotland international out of the team.
That said, Tierney is under a long-term contract at the Emirates Stadium as well, until 2026. Still, at the age of 25, he might need to consider his gametime.
Some of his compatriots have tested themselves in Serie A in recent years, such as current Brentford and ex-Bologna man Aaron Hickey. Whether Tierney would consider such a move remains to be seen.
Hernandez transfer theory makes little sense
Tierney joined Arsenal in the same summer that Hernandez signed for Milan, which makes for an interesting comparison. Tierney’s record with his current club is 116 appearances, five goals and 14 assists.
Therefore, Hernandez contributes to goals at a higher rate than Tierney. But the real question Arsenal need to be asking is if there is really any need to replace Zinchenko.
The Ukraine international has played 28 times in his debut season in north London. Although he has only scored once and assisted twice, he has been a consistent and dependable performer.
Besides, his versatility could come in useful even if Arsenal do invest in another left-back. Earlier in his career, Zinchenko showed his ability to play in midfield.
And at the age of 26, with a contract lasting exactly the same length as Hernandez’s and Tierney’s, Zinchenko can make even more of a name for himself at Arsenal in the years to come.
Hence, his role in this deal should not be under consideration. Maybe the Tierney theory might have more legs to it, but then again, maybe not. The report says even Milan might not be tempted.
Either way, this would seem like an unnecessary acquisition by Arsenal.
Perhaps the news should be taken with a pinch of salt until any other sources make similar claims.