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Nine players Arsenal signed from Italian clubs amid Aaron Hickey interest

Arsenal have signed several players from Italian clubs in recent years and it looks Aaron Hickey could be the latest player to make the move to north London.

The Gunners are keen on bringing the Bologna and Scotland left-back to the Emirates Stadium this summer to provide cover and competition to his compatriot Kieran Tierney.

Nuno Tavares, Arsenal’s current back-up left-back was only signed from Benfica last summer, but Arsenal’s technical director Edu is eyeing a £17m move for Hickey, according to Corriere de Bologna.

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The 19-year-old, who has two Scotland caps to his name, has had two seasons in Serie A after making the move to Italy from Scottish Premiership Hearts in 2020.

From 34 Serie A appearances this season, Hickey has scored five goals and laid on one assist.

With Arsenal’s interest in Hickey intensifying, TBR takes a look at nine of the Gunners’ previous signings from Italian sides…

Players Arsenal signed from Italian clubs

Arturo Lupoli

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Brescia-born Lupoli joined Arsenal as a 17-year-old from Parma in July 2004 and he scored two goals from three League Cup appearances in his first season at the club.

After just one outing during the 2005/06 campaign, the striker joined Championship side Derby County on a season-long loan during the 2006/07 season where he scored 11 goals from 39 appearances.

Lupoli returned to his homeland by joining Fiorentina on a free transfer in the summer of 2007, but he did return to England with loan spells at Norwich City and Sheffield United.

The former Italy Under-21 international is currently playing in Serie D with Imperia.

Vito Mannone

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The list does get better. Similar to his compatriot Lupoli, Mannone also came to north London as a 17-year-old in 2005 from Atalanta.

After a brief loan spell with Championship side Barnsley in 2006 which brought four appearances, Mannone made his Arsenal debut against Stoke City on the last day of the 2008/09 Premier League season.

Mannone played eight games in a row for the Arsenal first team the following season before Manuel Almunia reclaimed his place.

Following a rare Champions League outing in the 2011/12 campaign, Mannone didn’t feature for the Gunners again until the start of the 2012/13 season where he started nine of the opening 11 Premier League games.

Mannone would go on to join Sunderland on a permanent deal in the summer of 2013 where he made 80 appearances. He’s currently the back-up goalkeeper at Monaco and his contract expires at the Ligue 1 side at the end of June.

Patrick Vieira

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Vieira was Arsene Wenger’s first signing at Arsenal in 1996 and he spent nine years with the club after arriving from AC Milan for £3.5m and he established himself as a club legend.

The Frenchman made over 400 appearances for the Gunners, winning three league titles and four FA Cups.

The 1998 World Cup winner’s last game in an Arsenal shirt was the FA Cup final of 2005, in which he scored the winning penalty to beat Manchester United.

Vieira, now the manager of Crystal Palace, moved to Juventus for £13.75m before switching to Inter, where he helped the Italian club win two Serie A titles.

The Premier League doesn’t half miss the Vieira v Roy Keane battles in the middle of the park when two feisty captains went toe-to-toe.

Nwankwo Kanu

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The dazzling Nigerian came to Highbury from Inter Milan for £4.5m in January 1999 and hit the ground running upon arriving in England.

Kanu scored seven goals from 16 appearances to finish the campaign in which Manchester United went on win the treble.

The charismatic striker produced his best goalscoring season in an Arsenal shirt during 1999/2000 where he scored 17 goals across all competitions.

Kanu, who won both the Premier League and FA Cup twice with Arsenal, spent five-and-a-half years at Highbury before moving to West Brom where he spent two years.

Kanu finished his career with a six-year spell at Portsmouth and he scored the winning goal in the 2008 FA Cup final to clinch victory for Pompey under Harry Redknapp.

David Platt

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After a four-year spell in Italy that saw him play for Bari, Juventus and Sampdoria, the former Aston Villa made the switch back to England with the Gunners in the summer of 1995.

The former England international spent three years in north London after being signed by Bruce Rioch.

But after beating at Highbury for a year, Platt saw Rioch depart and Wenger take the reins. Platt made over 100 appearances for the Gunners and won the Premier League and FA Cup double in 1997/98.

Platt only started 11 times in the Premier League that season due to the emergence of French pair Vieira and Emmanuel Petit, but he did a score crucial winner against Manchester United.

Dennis Bergkamp

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The ex-Ajax star was also signed by Rioch in 1995 and what a piece of business it was bringing the influential Dutchman to Arsenal.

Bergkamp arrived from Inter for £7.5m and he went on play for Arsenal for 11 years before retiring with the Gunners.

From 408 appearances for Arsenal, Bergkamp scored 114 goals and provided 93 assists, he averaged a goalscoring contribution in every other game.

When the likes of Thierry Henry came into Wenger’s side, Bergkamp became more of the quarterback and his technical abilities are up there with the very best.

Bergkamp won three Premier League’s and four FA Cup’s during his time in north London.

Thierry Henry

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Mr Va Va Voom was quite the hit in the Premier League and he became one of the top-flight’s deadliest marksman under the tutelage of Wenger.

The French pair had already worked together during their time in Monaco, but after a seven-month spell with Juventus, Henry and Wenger were reunited in north London.

Arsenal paid £10.5m to sign Henry from the Old Lady in August 1999 and what a bargain he proved to be.

Henry spent eight years with the Gunners before moving to Barcelona where he finally got his hands on the Champions League.

Henry, who sits seventh in the Premier League’s all-time list of scorers and won the golden boot on four occasions, scored 228 goals for Arsenal and is the club’s all-time top scorer.

Lucas Torreira

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Arsenal signed the Uruguay midfielder from Sampdoria for £26m in July 2018 when Unai Emery was in charge.

The all-action South American spent two full seasons at the Emirates, but he has had loan spells with Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina over the last two campaigns.

According to Corriere Dello Sport, Viola are now ready to ‘accelerate’ their attempts to keep Torreira for the long-term.

The report states the Serie A side are willing to give the 26-year-old a four-year contract to remain in Florence. To do so, they must buy him from Arsenal, which should cost them around €15million (£12.6m).

Takehiro Tomiyasu

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Arsenal have already established a working relationship with Bologna following the £16m signing of Tomiyasu on the last day of the summer transfer window.

Negotiations for Hickey may run smoother following the arrival of the Japanese full-back.

Despite missing a chunk of the season due to injury, the 26-year-old has made 18 Premier League starts this season and he has impressed Arsenal legend Lee Dixon.

When it comes to players Arsenal signed from Italian clubs – Tomiyasu is the last, but his former teammate could be the next.

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