Kieran Tierney opens up on the real reason he got alienated in his last season at Arsenal

Kieran Tierney was alienated at Arsenal last season.

FOOTBALL Kieran Tierney opens up on the real reason he got alienated in his last season at Arsenal

Mark Kinyanjui 16:32 - 15.02.2024

Tierney has admitted he is not sure whether he will ever kick a ball for Arsenal again because of the change in playing-style  approach by Arteta.

Real Sociedad loanee Kieran Tierney has revealed why he was alienated at Arsenal last season before the club made the decision to loan him out at the beginning of this season.

In the summer of 2019, the former Celtic standout joined Arsenal in a transfer deal worth approximately £25 million. While there have been glimpses of promise during his time at the London club, the majority of Kieran Tierney's tenure has been marred by recurring injury problems.

During the previous season, the Scottish international found himself relegated to the role of the second-choice left-back after the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City. Zinchenko's immediate impact on the team resulted in Tierney spending more time on the bench than on the field, managing just six league starts.

Zinchenko's exceptional technical skills perfectly suited the inverted role that Arsenal's manager, Mikel Arteta, envisioned, leading to Tierney grappling with the adjustment initially. The Ukraine international's prowess on the field played a pivotal role in demoting Tierney to a substitute role, as Zinchenko seamlessly embraced the desired tactical approach set by Arteta.

“One of the big things about Arsenal is their left-back is one of the most central players; [Oleksandr] Zinchenko is one of their biggest creators, more like a No 6,” Tierney told The Guardian.

“When that first got introduced, it was alien to me. I had never played as centre‑mid, even as a kid. I was always high and wide, what you would call the more normal left-back position I’d kind of known all my life.

“I was trying to learn that [new role] at Arsenal. You see how well it works and it’s hard to question: I tried my best, learned, tried to do it in training and games.”

Tierner has described Zinchenko as “one of the best” inverters in the world, and working with him helped him improve that aspect of his game.

“ Maybe I can be very comfortable in that position one day. I got to practice with one of the best in the world, Zinchenko. It’s so natural to him, he makes it look so easy. But for me it’s probably more natural now, going up and down the wings.”

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Tierney has revealed that a desire to play in a role more natural to him -bombing up and down the flanks - was a factor he considered before joining Sociedad, having held talks with the coach Imanol Alguacil.

“We talked about the style of play,” Tierney recalled on The Guardian . “That was the main part for me because at Arsenal it was slightly different. I wanted to know how they see their left-backs. And when they told me, I was delighted.

Tierney confessed that he was not sure what the future held for him in North London but spoke of his admiration for Sociedad, whom he has vowed to repay for their "faith" in him.

"It's hard to say. I loved my time there and I still have two years on the contract. I am very grateful to Arsenal. I don't know what's going to happen but I am absolutely loving it here," Tierney said in a separate interview with Daily Mail.