Kieran Tierney hasn’t lived up to Arsenal’s expectations this season. Here are 3 improvements that he’ll need to win back the starting left-back role.
It’s fair to say Kieran Tierney didn’t have the world-beating first season Arsenal was expecting from the young Scotsman. Injuries hampered his progress, and before the June 20th restart, he’s only featured 6 times in the league, with one coming as a substitute. However, there are some positives to focus on.
Across all of his games played, his pinpoint crossing, speed off the mark, and distributive ability were clear to see. He was an asset in possession, and showed chemistry and cohesion with his teammates, despite his relative lack of time at the club. And he’s only lost one game for the club, a rather telling statistic despite his lack of time in the first team.
With 42 defensive contributions over those six league games— tackles, interceptions, recoveries, and clearances combined—he’s been defensively adept as well. He’s won over half of his duels, and with only one yellow card to his name, has showed impressive composure for somebody still coming to terms with his skills and abilities.
He’s drawn comparisons to countryman Andrew Robertson, and rightly so. He’s slightly less aggressive than Liverpool’s whirling dervish of a left-back, but he also gets exposed less for being out of possession. And according to Arsenal training staff this winter, he’s rebounding at full fitness. I, for one, am excited to see him against Manchester City in just under two weeks. But he still has aspects of his game to improve upon, in order to cement his starting spot.
We start with No. 3.