Brentford complete £17m deal for Arsenal target and rare commodity Aaron Hickey

Vitaliy Mykolenko Aaron Hickey June 2022

Brentford have signed Scotland international defender Aaron Hickey from Bologna for a fee which could hit £17m. 

The Bees will pay £14m up front. But the fee will rise to £17m with performance-related add-ons, according to the BBC.

The 20-year-old, capped four times at senior level by his country, has agreed a four-year contract with the Premier League club.

The former Hearts defender was a reported target for Arsenal and they looked set to pounce for the player in May.

Arsenal and Bologna had worked together last summer, with right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu moving from Serie A to the Premier League. And those close relations were expected to see Hickey follow in Tomiyasu’s footsteps.

Hickey also had Scotland team-mate Kieran Tierney lying in wait at The Emirates. But the trail went cold last month and Brentford, who tried to land the player in January, got a deal done

Bees boss Thomas Frank told the club’s official website “He is only 20 and has played a full season in Scotland as well as almost two seasons in Serie A.

“We think that Aaron is a player with great potential, who already has an impressive number of games at a good level under his belt.

“We believe that we have proven we are a good club for players to maximise their potential. And we think we can help him be even better.

Hickey ‘a rare thing in modern football’

“Aaron is a rare thing in modern football in that he is equally good with both feet. He is technically very sound and is good when he has the ball in tight areas.

“He is an attacking full-back that has good creativity. And he is a great crosser of the ball, and scored goals in Serie A last year. Having played two years in Italy, we know he will have good defensive traits.

“There are areas to improve. And we are looking forward to having him with us so we can be part of his development as a player.”

Hickey made his senior debut for Scotland in a 1-1 friendly draw against Poland in March. And he played the full 90 minutes in last month’s World Cup play-off defeat to Ukraine.

After making his Scottish Premiership debut aged 16 at Hearts he moved to Italy after one full season at Hearts.

The Celtic Academy graduate made 36 league appearances in Serie A for Bologna last season.