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Chelsea urged to go for Hearts whizkid Aaron Hickey

Hearts whizkid Aaron Hickey would be a great fit for Chelsea.

That is according to Scottish football expert Andy Walker.

The 19-year-old left-back will be a free agent next summer and Chelsea are reportedly showing an interest.

"Even this early in his career, I think Hickey would be a great option for Chelsea," said Walker in his column for Sky Sports.

"It's well known Frank Lampard is looking for options to possibly replace either Marcos Alonso or Emerson Palmieri and Leicester's Ben Chilwell would probably be his No 1 target.

"But there's no doubt in my mind that, in time, Hickey could follow the example of Liverpool's Andrew Robertson or Arsenal's Kieran Tierney and adjust from playing in the Scottish Premiership to thriving in the more demanding English Premier League.

"Given that he would be a very cheap option, in my view it would be worth it for Chelsea to take Hickey now and school him in their coaching system. Chelsea will of course realise there are a few gems to be found in Scotland having signed Billy Gilmour from Rangers for no more than a development fee for the Ibrox club.

"Gilmour joined Chelsea as 16-year-old three years ago and now look at him. He's regarded as one of their brightest prospects and earned rave reviews for his outstanding contribution in Chelsea's 2-0 FA Cup win over Liverpool earlier this season.

"As things stand, Hickey is all potential. But, like Gilmour at a young age, Hickey will have exciting choices to make soon.

"As an alternative to the option of moving to a big English club now, he could choose a career path similar to that of Tierney who won multiple trophies for Celtic in a four-year period before moving to Arsenal for a life-changing sum of money for him and £25m for his club.

"Ideally, for those of us who cover the Scottish game on a weekly basis, he would follow the trajectory of someone like Tierney or John McGinn and develop in Scotland before the inevitable riches of English football or the draw of playing abroad lure him away."

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Paul Vegas

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