Aaron Hickey has impressed since making the switch from Hearts to Bologna in the summer of 2020. His versatility, defensive awareness and ability to emerge from tight situations with the ball at his feet has earned him comparisons with Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson.
Since joining the Serie A side Hickey has made 47 appearances, scoring five goals for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side. His impressive form has also earned him international recognition with the 19-year-old making his senior debut for the Scottish national team in March.
His somewhat meteoric rise has seen the Bologna star linked with a host of European football’s elite clubs including AC/Inter Milan, Juventus and Arsenal. His manager is also a fan of his burgeoning talents, hailing his quality and potential shortly after he made he his debut during a 4-1 win over Parma two seasons ago.
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“Hickey has both personality and quality, he has a great future ahead of him,” Mihajlovic said. “He’s lively and is learning already.”
The former Hearts star arrived at Bologna as a fledgling 16-year-old but has since established himself as an integral part of their first team, making 35 appearances this season. However, with his contract expiring in two years coupled with the fact Mihajlovic’s side are on the cusp of another mid table finish; Hickey is expected to move on in order to play in Europe and challenge for trophies.
Arsenal, who have been heavily linked with a move for his services, are in need of a left-back to provide competition for Kieran Tierney and depth in that position. Nuno Tavares has often deputised for the Scottish star after an injury-hit campaign but has struggled defensively.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta will be keen to strengthen his squad ahead of a return to European football next season and will see left-back as a priority given that Tierney has only made 22 appearances this season.
Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Brentford have also been credited with interest in the defender by The Times.