Arsenal are reportedly lining up Brighton & Hove Albion defender Tariq Lamptey as a potential replacement for Hector Bellerin, who could be on his way out.

According to a report from the Mirror, Arsenal are keeping a close watch on Brighton & Hove Albion youngster Tariq Lamptey amid speculations surrounding the future of right-back Hector Bellerin.

Bellerin has been with Arsenal since 2011, having switched from the Barcelona youth academy. Having broken into the first-team in 2014, the 25-year-old has pretty much been the first-choice in his position. Till date, he has racked up 229 appearances for the Gunners, chalking up eight goals and 29 assists so far.

However, Bellerin’s future at the club has been called into question of late, with a potential return to Barcelona being mooted. Joan Laporta, who is favourite to win next month’s presidential election at the Catalan outfit, wants to take Bellerin back should he emerge victorious.

The 25-year-old could have left the Emirates last summer itself, amid interest from French champions Paris Saint-Germain, but was persuaded to stay by manager Mikel Arteta. However, with Barcelona registering an interest in him, Arsenal are preparing for a potential departure, with Tariq Lamptey emerging as a viable replacement.

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A product of the Chelsea youth setup, Lamptey made just three senior appearances for the Blues before leaving for Brighton & Hove Albion in January earlier this year. Since joining the Seagulls, the 20-year-old has impressed a great deal, especially in the 2020/21 campaign.

In 11 Premier League matches in the ongoing season, Lamptey has contributed with one goal and three assists, impressing with his attacking intent from the wing-back position. La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid are reported to be keeping tabs on the Englishman, while there has also been interest from Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

Now, it is being claimed that Arsenal are also monitoring Lamptey and will push to sign him should they happen to lose Bellerin in January or next summer. The 20-year-old is contracted with Brighton till the summer of 2023, but the Seagulls will be keen to tie him down to a new deal amid mounting interest in his services, as per the report.

It will be interesting to see if Arsenal do make a move for the former Chelsea ace in the future, although it will hinge on whether or not Barcelona sign Bellerin from the Gunners.

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