Kieran Tierney: 5 Reasons Why Arsenal Should Up Their Bid & Bring the Scot to North London

​If the recent reports are to be believed, then Kieran Tierney looks likely to become Unai Emery’s first signing of the summer.

Arsenal are set for another year without Champions League football after failure to win the Europa League or secure a top four finish in the Premier League.

Naturally, in order to put an end to what appears to be a recurring theme each year, signings must be made. Make no bones about it, Arsenal were atrocious at the back last season. Like, really bad. Therefore, reinforcements are imperative if the Gunners are expected to put an end to the abundance of negativity that currently exudes from its dejected fanbase.

The ball has started rolling though, and one such addition appears to be Celtic’s highly rated left back. A £15m bid was knocked back by the Hoops this week, with ​Arsenal widely tipped to back an improved offer and seal a deal. 

So, with that in mind, here are five reasons why they must ensure they bring the Scot to north London this summer.


Versatility

Kieran Tierney

Emery tinkered with his formation on a number of occasions last term, usually to no avail. However, what is abundantly clear is that he isn’t entirely sure what his best formation is. Sead Kolasinac is quite frankly incapable of playing on the left side of a back three, while Nacho Monreal hasn’t got the legs anymore to play as a wing back. Furthermore, neither can play in a flat back four. A rather ridiculous conundrum.

Step forward Tierney. The 22-year-old has shown an incredible amount of versatility during his time at Celtic, more than comfortable slotting in as a left back in a four man defence, or operating as a wing back.

With excellent energy, he can move up to support his midfield in transition while his superb pace allows him to overlap the wingers throughout the 90 minutes. Energy and pace are two fundamental aspects of the modern full back, traits Tierney has in abundance, but it is his versatility to switch in differing formations that will have caught Emery’s eye the most.

The Spaniard is not afraid to change his side’s tactical approach from game to game, sometimes rather dramatically, and Tierney has the qualities to slot right in.


Experience

Kingsley Coman,Kieran Tierney

Granted, the Scottish league is not the most physically demanding, technically gifted or even emotionally draining league in the world. But Tierney has seen plenty of game time since breaking into the first team back in 2015.

In 2016 he made his first ​Champions League bow, featuring in the group stages of the tournament as Celtic finished bottom of their group with three draws and three defeats. He went on to feature in the competition during the next two seasons – although his side failed to reach the group stages last season – during which time he’s faced the likes of ​Barcelona, Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain.

Such experience is immeasurable, and if he is to move on to the next stage of his career then huge Champions League occasions such as the ones he’s taken part in will put him in good stead.

Aside from just certain occasions, the defender has vast amounts of experience when it comes to silverware. Celtic are currently enjoying one of the greatest spells in their history, obliterating all who stand in their way in Scotland on the path to multiple trophy successes. Since making the jump up to the senior squad, Tierney has already amassed four league titles, two Scottish Cups and two Scottish League Cups.


Raw Talent

Stuart Armstrong,Kieran Tierney

As already touched on, Tierney boasts superb pace. Along with that and his aforementioned work rate, his intelligence in both offensive and defensive roles is another key trait. Even when running at breakneck speeds, he can make calculated decisions, anticipate attacking situations, and burst past players.

His talent hasn’t gone unnoticed in his native Scotland though, and he has continually been scooping awards for his fine displays. Three consecutive PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year gongs were won between 2015-2018 to coincide with his SFWA Young Player of the Year trophies. Furthermore, he has also been named in the PFA Scotland Team of the Year on each of those occasions, this year failing to win any awards due to a recurring injury problem preventing him from making more than 21 league outings.

Very much in the mould of a modern full back, Tierney loves to link up in attack and possesses a keen eye for a pass. In the 2017/18 season he registered seven assists and three goals, despite missing eight games of the season. Even after an injury-ravaged campaign last term, he still recorded a further five assists, not including another one in Champions League qualifying. 


He Can Actually Defend

Kieran Tierney,Igor Smolnikov

While we’ve mentioned his versatility, it hasn’t yet been mentioned just how good is at fulfilling his defensive duties.

Able to lead his side, having filled in as captain before, he also is fearless in the tackle and brave in the air. Standing at under six foot tall, he doesn’t have the biggest frame, yet more than makes up for it with an excellent standing jump and precision timing.

In 38 games last season Celtic conceded only 20 goals, and since Tierney made his breakthrough season in 2015/16, the club have never conceded more than 25 in an entire campaign. Since news of Arsenal’s interest broke, pundits and ex-players alike have been singing the Scotsman’s praises, with natural comparisons to Andrew Robertson duly following.

“If Kieran was playing in England, he’d probably be worth about £50m,” Celtic great Pat Bonner told ​BBC.

“He’s got the ability to go into a club like Arsenal. If you were picking out a player in British football at the moment that can play left-back, himself and [Liverpool’s Scotland captain] Andy Robertson are the best two in Britain, if not Europe.”


He’s Neither Sead Kolasinac or Nacho Monreal

Sead Kolasinac,Nacho Monreal

Since Gael Clichy was in his prime, Arsenal have never succeeded to find a proper, all-round left back, no matter how hard they’ve tried. 

Let’s swiftly move past Andre Santos, a period of Arsenal’s history best left forgotten, and look at the current pair. Monreal has been an excellent servant to the club since moving from Malaga in 2013, always among the top performers in the side and arguably one of the most consistent members of the squad.

Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that having turned 33, his best days are well and truly past him. The fact that he is now only played on the left side of a back three highlights the obvious issue of his fitness while equally exposing him to another position he still isn’t particularly well-versed in.

Like Jekyll and Hyde, Kolasinac has assumed the other side of the job as a full back, linking with the attack and overlapping at any given opportunity. However, neither can do both effectively, therefore Emery has often been left with the unfortunate position of selecting both players on occasion in a 3-4-1-2 setup that caters to their respective ‘skillsets’.

Still, they aren’t great at what they do, so with the likely arrival of Tierney we could see Arsenal revert to a back four, by which time the club will actually have a full back on their books who can manage to defend and attack. Can you imagine?

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Arsenal Signings: Assessing the Gunners’ Transfer Targets (and How Unlikely They Are to Happen)

For Arsenal Football Club, this summer transfer window is club-defining.

What transpires from now up until August 8 could ultimately set the Gunners en route towards the upper echelons of the Premier League, or begin the spiral towards mid-table mediocrity that looms large in north London.

Granted, I did indeed make the claim that the club are already ​beginning their descent, but one must search deep within themselves to muster up some glimmer of hope – or else what is the point?

Unai Emery

That said, given the calibre of player ​Arsenal have been linked with this summer, that may be somewhat short-lived.

From the downright ridiculous to the frighteningly plausible, now is the time to assess the strengths of those players Unai Emery is supposedly eyeing up for another year of Thursday nights in Belarus.


Samuel Umtiti – Barcelona

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Might as well start with the blatantly ridiculous.

The Story: A World Cup winner, freakishly talented and at one of the biggest clubs in world football – naturally Samuel Umtiti was linked with a move to the Emirates this season. The Frenchman only signed a new five-year-deal with the ​Blaugrana last summer, yet has allegedly been made available for transfer.

Strengths: He’s not just good, he’s like, really good. Umtiti embodies the modern centre-half, daring in his approach, equally willing to play the ball out from the back or make a surge into midfield as he is content to hit row Z with a clearance, he’s got it all.

The 25-year-old has no issue putting his body on the line, although often times it isn’t required as he reads the game like a children’s book, thus eliminating the need for last-ditchness, as it were.

Likelihood: While Barcelona’s tedious pursuit of Matthijs de Ligt has cast a shadow of uncertainty over Umtiti’s future in Catalonia, fat f***ing chance he will be making the move to north London this summer. 

Since the season ended, reports emerged of Arsenal’s interest in the centre-back as a potential replacement for club captain Laurent Koscielny, but there is simply no way in hell that Umtiti would see Europa League football with Arsenal as a viable option. Moreover, thought to cost somewhere in the region of £53m, he already costs more than the entire budget Unai Emery has on his hands.

Move on, shut up, stop talking about it.


Yannick Carrasco – Dalian Yifang

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A half-decent winger looking to reignite his career? Intriguing.

The Story: Having grown fed up with China and failing to settle in the country, former ​Atletico Madrid winger Carrasco has made no bones about his desire to return to Europe. One season with Dalian Yifang clearly was enough, with a host of sides looking to offer the Belgian an escape route. One of the said clubs is Arsenal, who are reigniting their interest in the winger after failing to secure his signature in January.

Strengths: If you were unaware, Arsenal need wingers. Its an area of the squad painfully lacking, with Emery desperate to find someone to fit the profile of a wide and direct threat who attacks with intensity.

Unusually with wingers who played in Spain, he actually tracks back. A trait that would appeal to any ​Premier League manager. It is, however, going forward where he shines. A keen dribbler with a direct nature to attack in wide areas, he’s got a tendency to cut inside on to his favoured right foot, where he actually shoots from outside the box. A facet unheard of for Arsenal fans, Granit Xhaka-s**t aside.

Likelihood: While the attempted move to bring him to the Emirates in January was dead before it began, given the club had £0 to spend, there is actually an air of possibility about this one.

A few of the necessities for any transfer to take place are already affirmed: the player wants to move, there is a club playing in Europe interested and the fee is not astronomical. A supposed £25m will be whats required, which is more than half the budget, however, player sales should bump that up a bit. Therefore, this one could well materialise.


Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth

Ryan Fraser

Bournemouth’s Player of the Season, a player to potentially catapult Arsenal’s upcoming season?

The Story: Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for the Scotsman this summer after he emerged as one of Emery’s key transfer targets. Cherries’ Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year caught the eye with some consistently impressive outings for Eddie Howe’s men, courting the interest of Emery, who is on the lookout for wingers.

Strengths: Look no further than the stats. With 14 Premier League assists, Fraser ranked only behind the now departed Eden Hazard on the leaderboard, while a further seven league goals is most certainly not to be scoffed at.

One of the first words that spring to mind with the 25-year-old is industry. Unquestionably a fighter, Fraser closes down tirelessly and never backs out of a challenge – possessing the kind of work rate that has abandoned so many Gunners players this season.

Likelihood: While at the beginning of the window this one appeared to be gaining traction, it has slowly petered out and looks less and less likely by the day. Given Arsenal’s current plight of being unable to attract ​Champions League stars, Fraser posed a more than adequate option who would have added some much-needed creativity from the flanks.

This once hot rumour appears to be heading for an early bath.


Kieran Tierney – Celtic

Kieran Tierney

He’s not Nacho Monreal or Sead Kolasinac, therefore an immediate upgrade from….Nacho Monreal and Sead Kolasinac.

The Story: Unquestionably a fine servant for the club in his six-and-a-half seasons in north London, unfortunately, few Arsenal fans would like to see 33-year-old Monreal featuring in the starting XI for Emery next season. Similarly, while effective (at times) going forward, Kolasinac is frighteningly suspect at his primary job (defending), thus signing a suitable left-back is an essential this summer.

Kieran Tierney of Celtic has attracted admirers, with many making the blatantly obvious link to Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson given he’s, well, a left-back and, well, Scottish. Nevertheless, the Gunners are interested, with reports ​claiming a bid is imminent.

Strengths: Emery has toyed with both a back four and a back three this season, implementing a an outright left-back as well as wing-backs. Tierney’s ability to play in defensive and attacking fullback roles to such a high standard makes him a valuable asset. Lining up as a left-back, supporting his midfield in transition, he excels, while slotting into left wing-back he does with consummate ease.

An engine akin to that of, umm, Robertson, he is capable of bombing up and down the left hand side for 90 minutes and beyond, something vital in Emery’s set-up.

Likelihood: *TOUCHES ALL THE WOOD IN THE HOUSE*

Unlike Fraser, links to Tierney are starting to escalate, having been linked with the Gunners for a number of windows now. Its in Arsenal’s court, knowing if they pay the right sum of money they’ll get their man, its a matter of pulling their respective fingers out and paying Celtic what they ask for. A position in the team desperately in need of reinforcing, fingers are firmly crossed for this to come through. A ​£15m bid has been knocked back, with the a revised bid in the pipeline.


William Saliba – Saint-Etienne

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Young and promising centre-half who is highly rated in France?? Oh, he’ll cost that much?

The Story: With Arsenal boasting less money than your local Jamie’s Italian, naturally links have been made with a number of lesser known centre-halves across Europe. While Saliba isn’t a household name, he’ll cost more than all our houses together, at a whopping £25m. 

The links have been strong throughout the summer, although the suggestion of paying such a sum then loaning him back for the season seems utterly farcical, yet very Arsenal.

Strengths: I will not claim to be some French football prodigy, and give you all the ins-and-outs of the 18-year-old’s skillset. What I can relay, however, is that the general feeling around the player is that he will be a long-term replacement for Laurent Koscielny, and he’s been dubbed the ‘new Raphael Varane’. He’s supposedly a very skilled technician and a powerful athlete, and slotted easily into Les Verts’ first team this season.

Likelihood: As previously mentioned, there have been strong links thus far. Arsenal have apparently ​struck a deal on personal terms with the defender, with just a fee to be agreed. The stumbling block is, of course, that his parent club want him loaned back as part of any agreement. 

I mean, spend over half your budget on a player you won’t see for 12 months? Might as well, I don’t know, sign someone you knew had a broken back. Now that would be funny.

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Arsenal ‘Optimistic’ Over Kieran Tierney Deal With Revised Bid Expected as Celtic Seek £25m

​Arsenal remain ‘optimistic’ that a deal will be struck with Celtic to sign Kieran Tierney, despite their opening offer of £15m being knocked back by the Scottish champions.

Unai Emery has made defensive reinforcements his primary target this summer, with the left back position one such area after a below-par season from Sead Kolasinac, while Nacho Monreal turned 33 years old earlier this year.

The club have already made their move to bring Tierney to north London, offering Celtic £15m for the 22-year-old in a deal that included four players – Carl Jenkinson, Jordi Osei-Tutu, Emile Smith Rowe and Eddie Nketiah – in part exchange, according to ​The Sun. However, the Parkhead outfit rejected the deal and instead would like a larger cash sum, closer to £25m, to sell their star.

BBC journalist ​David Ornstein has had a long-standing connection with the club, having previously been the first to break stories such as the club’s move for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. This time, Ornstein has stated that ​Arsenal will go back in with another offer for the left back, and are ‘confident’ a deal could be met.

Despite the player having previously mentioned his desire to become a legend with the Hoops, personal terms are not expected to be a problem with the ​Daily Mail echoing the statements that the player is keen on the move south.


Tierney has a contract until 2023 and is currently recovering from a double hernia operation at the end of May, which kept him out for spells during the last campaign. However, the report add that the player is ‘hopeful’ of being fit in time for pre-season.

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Serge Gnabry: How a Tony Pulis Flop at West Brom Transformed Into Bayern Munich’s Player of the Year

After his first full season at Bayern Munich, Serge Gnabry has been crowned as the Bundesliga champions’ Player of the Season, but it’s not been such a straight forward journey to the top for the 23-year-old forward. 

Poached by Premier League giants Arsenal at the age of 15, the Germany international’s move to England was delayed by a year due to age restrictions, but Gnabry still had expectations piled onto him early on after a 30-goal haul with VfB Stuttgart’s Under-16 side before the move.

It was no surprise that Gnabry hit the ground running when he finally arrived in north London, featuring six times in the Premier League’s reserve league, alongside players who were already three years his senior like Thomas Eisfeld – dubbed early on as ‘the next Mario Götze’ – and Oguzhan Özyakup.

Mesut Oezil,Serge Gnabry

It wasn’t long before Gnabry found himself in the first team alongside compatriot and then club-record signing Mesut Özil, making both his Premier League and Champions League debut within a four-day spell.

Unfortunately for the now 23-year-old, he would only ever make nine more top-flight appearances for Arsenal’s first team, being forced to endure a horrid loan spell with West Brom before eventually being sent back to Germany.

It was during Gnabry’s six-month spell in the West Midlands that manager Tony Pulis provided a soundbite which has since been immortalised.

Serge has come [to West Brom] to play games but he just hasn’t been for me, at the moment, at that level to play the games,” Pulis said, quoted by The Express & Star“He’s come from academy football and not played much league football.”

Fast forward to the end of that 2015/16 season and Gnabry finds himself in the transfer market, eventually sealing a deadline day move to northwest Germany, joining SV Werder Bremen for just €5m.

Moving back to Germany came just days after Die Mannschaft were beaten in a penalty shootout against host nation Brazil in the Olympic Games, although Gnabry did finish as the competition’s top scorer ahead of Neymar and Nigerian forward Umar Sadiq. 

His move to the Wesser Stadion was surrounded by rumours of interference from Bayern Munich, but Gnabry didn’t let talk off the pitch affect his performances on it, going on to score 11 goals during his maiden season in the Bundesliga.

Gnabry’s move to Bremen did prove to be nothing more than an informal loan from Bayern Munich – he moved to Bavaria in 2017 for just €8m – but he was sent back out straight away by the decision makers at the Allianz Arena.

This time, Gnabry was sent to work under managerial wonderkid Julian Nagelsmann at TSG Hoffenheim.

Serge Gnabry

Unlike before, however, Gnabry spent the majority of his time playing through the middle in Nagelsmann’s versatile system, and once again the Germany international reached double figures during the league campaign.

Hoffenheim wanted him back for another season, but Bayern Munich’s top brass had seen enough to convince them he could make the step up.

It wasn’t the easiest of starts in Bavaria as Gnabry didn’t score his first goal for the club until November in a disappointing draw at home to Freiburg, where Lucas Höler’s 89th-minute strike for the visitors summed up Bayern Munich’s Hinrunde in a nutshell.

But that goal saw Gnabry kick on from a personal point of view, going on to end the season with a tally of 13 goals and nine assists after making 42 appearances – the most in a single campaign in his entire career – across all competitions.


Most importantly, however, is that Gnabry has taken the first step on the road to achieving what he wants to with Bayern Munich, and that’s winning trophies.

Ending the campaign with a domestic double to his name, Gnabry was a consistently vital part of Bayern Munich during their league campaign, where the Bavarians had to overturn a large point gap with Borussia Dortmund to reclaim the title.

In the DFB-Pokal, outstanding performances against Hertha BSC and 1. FC Heidenheim helped carry Bayern Munich to the final in Berlin, where they made light work of Ralf Rangnick’s RB Leipzig.

It wasn’t a season without its faults for Gnabry, or Bayern Munich on the whole, but the former Arsenal star showed exactly why he’s been shown so much faith at Säbener Strasse, and how he could grow to be one half of the club’s next set of generation-defining wingers.

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Arsenal Continuing to Evaluate Options as Yannick Carrasco Hits Out at Dalian Yifang Treatment

​Arsenal are re-evaluating their transfer options as moves for Yannick Carrasco and Ryan Fraser have seemingly come to a standstill.

Both players have heavily linked with moves to the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners look for reinforcements this summer after missing out on qualification for next season’s Champions League.

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Carrasco has been an Arsenal target for a number of months, with a failed bid in January resulting in a loan move for Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez instead, and he’s desperate to move back to Europe after a hugely publicised spat with his club Dalian Yifang.

The Belgian winger is currently suspended from the club after a number of apparent indiscretions, with a social media post hitting out the club’s handling of matters unlikely to help his cause.

He remains in the crosshairs of Arsenal, with the Evening Standard reiterating that he, and Fraser, still remain targets.

Dalian are currently refusing to budge from their £30m valuation, while Bournemouth winger Fraser has been offered a new deal by the club in an attempt to keep the Scotsman on the south coast.

He is valued at around £30m as well, even though he only has 12 months remaining on his current Vitality Stadium contract. He scored seven goals last season and racked up 14 assists last season, comfortably his best season in English top-flight football.

The Gunners are not flush with cash, however, and may have to offload the likes of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer in order to free up additional transfer funds. Emery’s side are believed to have a budget of around £45m to play with, significantly lower than Premier League rivals.

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They are, meanwhile, in discussions with Lorient over a deal for 21-year-old winger Alexis Claude-Maurice, but he has publicly come out and admitted he wants a move to Borussia Monchengladbach.

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