Arsenal are currently in negotiations to sign Kieran Tierney from Celtic and are said to be ‘optimistic’ about completing a deal. Should he become the clubs first summer signing, the Scottish international would certainly be a good one.
Many fans will point to central defence, central midfield and the wide midfield positions as areas Arsenal need to make signings. Whilst they are all true, the need for a new left-back should not be underestimated.
The Gunners played with five in defence in the last couple of seasons and I don’t think that has been because of Arsene Wenger or Unai Emery’s tactical preferences.
It has been down to the personnel and the lack of a complete full back, capable of playing in a back four. Sead Kolasinac has good energy going forward but is very poor defensively, whilst Nacho Monreal has been struggling physically and now 33, cannot be relied upon.
Tierney would provide the team with a long term option at left back and his well-rounded skill set makes him a good fit as an attacking full-back in a back four. This would allow Emery to play in his favoured 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 formation, giving Arsenal more vital control in the middle of the pitch.
Aged 22 Tierney is a long term investment and with Bellerin (24) on the right, Arsenal could have a pair of quick and talented full backs for the next 5-10 years.
Before Bellerin’s injury last season we saw how vital the Spaniard was to Emery’s style of play, with the emphasis on full backs getting high and wide, stretching the pitch. Arsenal suffered in Bellerin’s absence, but the thought of both Bellerin and Tierney in the same eleven is quite exciting and I’m sure it will excite Emery.
Should Tierney arrive, it’s possible Kolasinac leaves. The Bosnian is 26 and has reasonable market value of around £15million, an amount Arsenal are likely to accept in order to raise funds to strengthen other areas. Equally Monreal could take this as an opportunity to return to Spain and close his career.
Arsenal won’t have to worry about losing Monreal’s experience as Tierney may only be 22, but he has a vast amount of experience, including over 100 senior games for Celtic, 12 caps for Scotland and experience in both the Champions League and Europa League.
The defender is also well known for his maturity and leadership skills on and off the pitch, attributes the Arsenal squad would really benefit from adding.