This article is part of Football FanCast’s Opinion series, which provides analysis, insight and opinion on any issue within the beautiful game, from Paul Pogba’s haircuts to League Two relegation battles…
Kieran Tierney will not play for Scotland in their final two Euro 2020 qualifiers after Arsenal asked Steve Clarke not to call him up, as reported by The Daily Mail.
Speaking about the decision, Clarke stated: “Kieran has got an ongoing issue that Arsenal are keen to address in the next international break and Arsenal asked us not to select him.
“It’s a little bit frustrating. It’s obviously frustrating for Kieran as well, but we’ve got good cover in that position.”
The Scotland manager’s stance on the situation is understandable, as Tierney can be an important player for his national team, as signified by the fact he has started the last 10 games he has been available for, as per Transfermarkt.
However, Arsenal have definitely made the right decision in requesting the 5ft 10 left-back’s fitness is worked on, especially as Scotland mathematically can’t make it through.
Tierney has only played the last two Premier League games for the Gunners, having been eased into things following his hip injury.
There have been positive signs from those games, with the Scotsman averaging 1.5 tackles, 1 interception, 2.5 clearances and 0.5 blocks per game, as per WhoScored.
With this in mind, it would be silly to risk halting his progress with another injury, when his fitness can be reinforced over the break.
It can be argued that, in the long run, this decision will benefit Scotland as well as Arsenal, so it is certainly the correct call for everyone involved.