Arsenal will have the edge over Manchester United in their pursuit for Tariq Lamptey due to the ongoing crisis at the full-back position.
According to the Daily Mirror, the Gunners and the Manchester side are set to battle it out for the Brighton youngster Lamptey in the January transfer window.
Mikel Arteta’s side are in desperate need of a full-back due to the lack of depth or quality as an option when Takehiro Tomiyasu isn’t available.
With both Manchester United and Arsenal both fighting for the fourth Champions League spot next season, the guarantee of more game time could persuade Lamptey to choose the London side.
Arsenal have been excellent defensively this season, and have shown quality at the back which hasn’t been since at the Emirates since the move to Highbury in 2006.
The Gunners have been prone to defensive mistakes in recent years, but the shrewd acquisition of Tomiyasu from Bologna on transfer deadline day for a bargain fee of £19.8m, has changed Arteta’s fortunes.
Since joining the club, the Japanese international has been faultless, and when he is not available for selection the team’s defensive solidarity takes a major hit, suddenly making the defence look a whole lot weaker when he is not available.
Cedric Soares has been the man to be utilised at the right-back position when Tomiyasu isn’t available, but his performances have been nothing short of poor.
This was proven in the games against Nottingham Forest and Leeds United, where Arteta’s defence have suffered due to the lack of presence at right-back, which Cedric had been occupying.
Maitland-Niles certainly would have been a good answer to the right-back issues, as he has played in the full-back positions plenty of times before and has excelled, but he has been deemed surplus to requirements by Arteta, and has been loaned out to AS Roma.
However, The signing of Lamptey would be a major statement stamped down by Edu and the club, as the youngster is regarded as one of the best right-backs in the country when fully fit.
His acquisition would give Arteta a healthy selection headache, and he could favour the right-back in games against opposition who provide lesser quality over Tomiyasu, so Arsenal are more dangerous in their attacking phase of play.
Manchester United already have Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diego Dalot occupying that full-back position, who are both promising youngsters similar to Lamptey, which could have an impact on his game time.
If Lamptey is available for a transfer in January, then it is a deal worth chasing for Arteta and Arsenal.