If there’s one club that can benefit from a slew of new defensive signings this summer, it’s Arsenal.
The Gunners capitulated in the final few games of the Premier League season, throwing away a top-four finish thanks to lacklustre defending while also losing the Europa League final in embarrassing style at the hands of Chelsea.
This summer the club need to maximise their limited £45 million budget by signing players in the positions that are most in need of strengthening.
With Nacho Monreal entering the final year of his contract and Sead Kolasinac well-suited to a more advanced role, it would be no surprise to see Arsenal sign a new left-back this summer, and their publicised pursuit of Kieran Tierney suggests they are looking in exactly the right place for a new left-back this summer.
According to Metro, Arsenal look set to fail with a second bid for the Celtic star, with the Scottish champions holding out for a fee of £25m.
That the Gunners have reportedly tabled a second bid illuminates the extent of their interest in bringing Tierney to the Emirates Stadium and, with that in mind, Football FanCast take a look at two reasons why his signature should be a priority this summer.
Tierney might just be 22-years-old but he is blessed with a wealth of experience, making 170 first-team appearances for Celtic thus far.
He has put in stellar displays in the Champions League and led out the Hoops as captain, and history strongly suggests that he has earned a major step up in class.
Many are quick to dismiss the quality of the Scottish Premiership, but playing 150+ games in a top-tier division before the age of 23 is no mean feat. His level of experience should ensure a smooth transition into the Premier League and Arsenal’s first-team. Virgil van Dijk and Victor Wanyama have both made the transition from Celtic to Premier League football with huge success, so why can’t Tierney?
The Scotland international’s ability to play as a left-back, a central defender and as a left-wing-back means the Scottish international will be able to fit in either a 4-2-3-1 or 3-5-2 – the two formations Emery predominantly used in his first season with Arsenal.
With Sead Kolasinac being linked with a move away from the Emirates, per the Sun, and Nacho Monreal now 33-years-old and coming off the back of a relatively disappointing season at Arsenal, Tierney could be in prime position to establish himself as the first choice left-back, and it’s one that the Scotsman can hold down for years.
He is a young and exuberant talent with plenty of scope for progression, and in the absence of stark competition next season he could convince Emery of his long term credentials.
With a reported valuation of £25m standing in Arsenal’s way, signing Tierney will take up more than half of Arsenal’s reported £40m transfer budget, but it would be a risk well worth taking based on the promise he has showcased during his formative years.
Present circumstances appear to lend Tierney a dream opportunity to establish himself as a lynchpin in Arsenal’s defensive unit if he eventually moves to the English capital this summer.