Arsenal chief Edu must make one more signing after Martin Odegaard despite Southampton win

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Arsenal are set to sign Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid – but he shouldn’t be the only player Edu brings in before next Monday’s transfer deadline. Kieran Tierney was absent for Tuesday’s trip to Southampton due to a minor leg injury. It is hoped he will be back for the visit of high-flying Manchester United on Saturday.

However, Tierney’s injury proneness means he cannot be relied upon as the only left-footed left-back in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

The Scotland international arrived at Arsenal in 2019 following a double hernia operation and then dislocated his shoulder shortly after recovering.

Tierney has had no major issues this season and has become one of the best attacking left-backs in the Premier League.

However, the odd niggle here and there can get Arsenal into trouble due to their lack of recognised options on the left of defence.

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Cedric Soares can fill in there and did so against his former club Southampton on Tuesday night. The Portugal international impressed but is pushing for a starting spot ahead of Hector Bellerin on the opposite side at right-back.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles is another option, though he appears to be out of favour under Arteta at the moment.

But neither Cedric or Maitland-Niles are left-footed and their reluctance to use their weak side could hamper Arsenal in some matches.

Bukayo Saka has played at left-back in the past but his performances on the right of the front three since the turn of the year mean he should rarely have to do it again.

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Arteta clearly did not view Sead Kolasinac as reliable cover for Tierney, allowing the Bosnian to rejoin Schalke on loan earlier this month.

But Kolasinac must be replaced before Monday’s deadline.

Arteta recently hinted that he is looking at strengthening at left-back, so it is clear he is not completely satisfied with his options in that position.

“With the departure of Kola, we are a little bit short with left-footed full-backs at the moment,” Arteta said.

“We know we can use Ainsley there, we can use Bukayo there and we can use Cedric – who has played in that position – so we have some options.

“A natural option to Kieran? Obviously, we don’t. But we can adapt.”

Asked if he would consider signing a left-back, Arteta responded: “That means that the option is open and we will look to see what is available.”

Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand has been linked with a move to the Emirates, though Saints are unlikely to sell this month so a free transfer may be on the cards at the end of his contract in the summer.

Odegaard is likely to be a stop-gap signing to strengthen the attacking-midfield options, with a long-term deal unlikely at present.

And Arsenal need to find a left-back to play a similar role to lessen the workload on Tierney.

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