Who is Josh Doig? The Hibernian wonderkid linked with Arsenal transfer

Sunday marks the final Premier League matchday of the season, one which has been a forgettable campaign for Arsenal.

The Gunners currently have endured a torrid time in Mikel Arteta‘s first full term, currently languishing in ninth place.

With the season nearly at its climax, attentions are being turned to the summer transfer window, one which promises to be a huge one for Arsenal.

football.london understands that the Gunners’ technical director, Edu Gaspar, wants to bring in at least five new faces this summer, including another left-back with Sead Kolasinac set to leave the Emirates in the coming weeks.

Kolasinac, who spent the second half of the season on loan at German side Schalke, leaving would leave a gap in the full-back department for Arsenal, with Kieran Tierney the only other recognised left-back in Areta’s squad.

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But the Scottish international’s frequent fitness problems have resulted in links to Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand and Hibernian full-back Josh Doig.

While Doig would command a fee, Bertrand would be available on a free transfer given his deal with the Saints is set to expire this summer and it has recently been confirmed that he will be leaving Southampton this summer.

Doig is a player the Gunners have been closely tracking, with the 19-year-old having been watched numerous times by Arsenal scouts. However, Edu faces competition for Doig’s signature with newly-promoted Watford keen on signing the Scot.

Hibernian left-back Josh Doig is on Arsenal's radar. (Image: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images).
Hibernian left-back Josh Doig is on Arsenal’s radar. (Image: Ian MacNicol/Getty Images).

Watford’s interest in Doig could be a huge blow to Arsenal’s hopes of capturing the teen sensation as he would likely be given more minutes for the Hornets considering Tierney will likely remain the first choice at the Emirates.

However, Arsenal have made a habit of staving off competition for transfers in recent years, signing Bernd Leno and Nicolas Pepe ahead of Italian side Napoli, who were reportedly interested in the duo before their respective moves to North London.

But why would Arsenal be interested in the idea of adding an inexperienced full-back to their ranks when they might need consistent senior players in an already youthful side?

Here, football.london has taken a close look at all you need to know about Doig and why the Gunners are keeping close tabs on his progress.

Who is Josh Doig?

Doig is a 19-year-old defender, who can operate as a wing-back in a back five or as a more traditional left-back in a back four.

The Scot is currently registered to SPL side Hibernian, making his professional debut in 2020.

The youngster is also a Scottish international, having been capped once at Under-18 level.

What has he done so far?

The teenager signed for Hibernian in the summer of 2019, having previously been on the books of their Edinburgh rivals Hearts.

After an impressive loan stint with Scottish league two outfit Queen’s Park, Doig returned to his parent club last summer ready to make his mark on the Scottish top-flight.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – MAY 08: Josh Doig of Hibernian FC makes a cross whilst under pressure from Marc McNulty of Dundee United during the William Hill Scottish Cup match between Dundee United and Hibernian at Hampden Park on May 08, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

His hard work was rewarded with an SPL debut last August and he went on to make 34 appearances in all competitions, helping Hibs secure third place in an impressive debut campaign.

Throughout his first season in the top-flight, Doig demonstrated a blistering pace coupled with an undeniable passion and desire for defending.

In 24 league appearances, he averaged 1.7 tackles and 1.3 clearances per game, an impressive stat-line for a player who turned 19 just last week.

Doig also showed a willingness to get forward and attack the opposition, chipping in with one goal and three assists during the course of the campaign.

Why would Arsenal want him?

While many of the Arsenal faithful might be hoping for their team to sign a more experienced full-back, the Gunners recent transfer dealings have shown that isn’t always the best solution.

The signing of former Chelsea winger Willian looked to be a real steal last summer but after a miserable debut season, in which he only scored once, Mikel Arteta may think twice before writing off Doig for his inexperience.

This season has showcased that young talents can often outperform senior, experienced players, with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe standing out with magnificent individual displays.

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The success of the aforementioned Hale End graduates could be one of the main reasons that Edu wants to bring Doig to the Emirates as his raw natural talent is something that the Brazilian may prefer compared to a cheap, ageing addition.

What has he said in the past?

In a recent interview, Doig kept his cards close to his chest and admitted he loves life in the Scottish capital

Speaking earlier this month, Doig said: “I do see the stuff on Twitter but I don’t focus on it. I’m just taking it as it comes. I love it here at Hibs.”

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