Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney could depart the club in the summer given Mikel Arteta’s preference for Oleksandr Zinchenko, journalist Charles Watts has claimed.
What’s the word?
Although a January departure looks impossible, the Scotland international could be a candidate to leave the club this summer given his lack of game time.
Despite his quality and popularity at the club, the performances of summer signing Zinchenko could mean that the 25-year-old moves on in search of a starting position elsewhere at the end of the season.
Are Arsenal weaker without Zinchenko starting?
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts explained that if a good offer was to arrive in the summer, it may prove difficult to turn down given his reduced importance to the team.
“I think we all know that Kieran Tierney could be a potential sale this summer. He’s not playing much. It’s very, very clear that Zinchenko is absolutely Mikel’s man when it comes to the left-back situation. When you look at the way that Arteta plays, and the way he wants his team to play, and the way he wants his left back to play, Kieran Tierney doesn’t really fit that bill,” he stated.
“He’s that old-school, get on the overlap, whip the balls in full-back – and a very, very good one as well, let’s not forget that.
“I just think the way this team is evolving, the way the formation’s evolving, the way Arteta sees things evolving over the next couple of years, it feels like Tierney might be a sellable asset – and Arsenal have to sell players.”
Only sell if an extraordinary offer arrives
Although Tierney may not be able to replicate Zinchenko’s strongest attributes, he resembles a top-quality option at left-back and is very capable of playing in an attacking, possession-based side, as he ranks in the top 6% of full-backs for progressive passes as per FBref.
The £25m signing from Celtic has struggled with injury at times since his arrival in 2019, but given that Arsenal would need to replace him with another backup should he leave, a sale should only be considered if a large offer arrives.
This probably limits him to another Premier League move, and strengthening a rival such as Newcastle may not be the most desirable outcome unless they make a significant bid.
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