Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Arsenal boss Arteta responds to the Tierney rumours

Mikel Arteta has claimed that Kieran Tierney is part of his plans for the season ahead.

Since the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko last summer from Manchester City the former Celtic defender has found himself sidelined out of the Starting XI.

Many Arsenal fans have been puzzled by the development but having paid £35m for the Ukrainian international Arteta is unlikely to pick a player he inherited ahead of one of his own signings.

After finishing second in last season’s EPL the Arsenal boss doesn’t have to justify or explain his decisions with Champions League football returning to the Emirates Stadium in September for the first time since 2017.

Newcastle and Aston Villa had been expected to put in offers for Tierney but with just over a fortnight to go before the EPL kicks off no bids have yet been placed.

Asked if Tierney was for sale Arteta told The Sun: “He is. He is in our plans. And as you said, he came on and did really well [on Saturday in the pre-season match against Manchester United].

It’s not the first time, every time he’s played in pre-season, he’s been really good. This is why we want to create competition in the team, raise the level of each individual and that’s going to be a huge benefit for the team to get to another level.”

In mid-June a story appeared claiming that there was interest from Celtic in signing Tierney on loan, intriguingly Brendan Rodgers refused to rule it out when he was questioned about the prospect.

On the surface, in terms of economics and football, it seems incredibly far fetched for any deal to be done but with no bids coming in and no improvement in his prospects at Arsenal a return to Celtic can’t be completely dismissed.

Since leaving Celtic for £25m in August 2019 Tierney has signed a second Arsenal contract which commits him to the club until May 2026. Importantly his salary is believed to be around £120,000 a week which is probably close to three times the earnings of Celtic highest paid players.

A one year loan deal seems to offer little benefit to Celtic. If Tierney excels it makes him more appealing to EPL sides and raises his value, if it doesn’t work out Celtic would have an expensive problem on their hands even if they are ‘only’ paying one third of his wages.

If Rodgers’ options at left-back were between Boli Boligoli and Diego Laxalt a footballing case could be made, with Greg Taylor putting in impressive back-to-back seasons left-back is certainly not a problem position.

While he was injury free last season there are doubts over Tierney’s ability to put in a season of 50 or more appearances which is a legacy of his time at Celtic.

After always making himself available to play it became clear during the 2018/19 season that the defender was managing a hip injury.

Following his £25m transfer Arsenal put their new recruit into rehab with his EPL debut delayed until November, in his first season Tierney started 12 EPL matches and made three substitute appearances.

Being fit and available will be a frustration for the Scotland defender but unless there is a serious offer on the table there is very little he can do other than buckle down in training and hope to make the most of any playing opportunities that he gets.

There is little doubt that Tierney would be open to a return to Celtic but it is difficult to see that happening due to the finances involved.

Since returning to Celtic Rodgers has spoken a couple of times about the transfer model in place, every system will be flexible enough to cope with exceptional events but it is quite a stretch to image Tierney being back at Celtic in the season ahead.

Show CommentsClose Comments

Leave a comment