Uncertain Future for Kieran Tierney at Arsenal Amidst Real Sociedad Interest
In recent times, there have been growing uncertainties about Kieran Tierney’s future at Arsenal, especially as reports emerge of Real Sociedad’s interest in the defender. Kieran Tierney joined Arsenal from Celtic in August 2019 for £25 million. He has been a part of the Emirates squad for four seasons and was often considered irreplaceable at the left-back position due to his versatile attacking and defensive abilities.
However, in the 2022/23 season, Tierney’s starting position began to waver and gradually shifted to Oleksandr Zinchenko. In the Premier League alone, the Scottish player appeared in 27 matches but only started 6 times, accumulating a mere 776 minutes on the field – his lowest playing time in the past four seasons. He managed to contribute just 1 assist.
Within every 90 minutes, Kieran Tierney attempted 0.3 shots, made 21.9 ball touches, achieved a passing accuracy of 78%, performed 0.4 interceptions, 0.7 tackles, 0.7 dribbles, 0.7 clearances, won 1.1 duels, and successfully contested 0.2 aerial duels. When compared to Zinchenko, Tierney lagged behind in crucial statistical aspects, spanning from defensive skills to the quality of passes and offensive support. Notably, his performance indicators have visibly declined compared to his previous seasons.
It’s worth mentioning that Zinchenko faced various injuries throughout this season and is estimated to have missed around 18 matches across all competitions. However, Tierney didn’t fully capitalize on these opportunities.
Following Arsenal’s addition of Jurrien Timber, a £38.5 million signing from Ajax Amsterdam, who can play as a center-back and on both flanks, Tierney’s prospects for regular playtime in the upcoming season are further narrowed.
Even during preseason matches and the recent 2023 FA Community Shield, with Zinchenko still recovering from injuries, Kieran Tierney was only a backup option for newcomer Jurrien Timber in the left-back position of Mikel Arteta’s 4-3-3 formation. When given the chance, he committed mistakes that led to Arsenal conceding goals against Manchester City.
Given this situation, Real Sociedad has expressed interest in acquiring the Scottish national team player from Emirates. However, Arsenal has taken a firm stance, asserting that Tierney won’t be allowed to leave at a low price. Presently, the 26-year-old defender is under contract with The Gunners until 2026 and hasn’t officially expressed a desire to seek a new destination this summer.
While Real Sociedad finished fourth in La Liga 2022/23 and secured a Champions League spot for the next season, they can’t be directly compared to Arsenal. Looking at the positive side, Tierney is still only 26 years old, with ample time to regain his best form and improve.
In summary, based on the ongoing developments, Tierney’s prospects for regular starting opportunities with the North London team seem fragile unless significant changes occur.