There is a feeling among those at Arsenal’s training ground London Colney that Kieran Tierney could return from injury ahead of schedule, according to football.london.
The left-back has been out since the end of last season after having surgery on a double hernia problem.
The Scotland international signed for Arsenal on transfer deadline day for a fee believed to be £25m from Scottish champions Celtic.
The news couldn’t be better for Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who needs a better left-back to take over from the potentially departing Nacho Monreal, who has struggled at times this season. Despite averaging more than three clearances per game in the Premier League so far this season, Monreal’s overall defensive game has been weak.
The Spain international averages one or less in five of the six defensive categories on WhoScored.com. Monreal’s struggles were abundantly clear against Liverpool, with the left-back losing possession three times, the second-most of any Arsenal defender (via WhoScored).
On the flip side, Tierney is quite a confident fullback both attacking and defending-wise. At Celtic last season, the 22-year-old averaged 1.1 dribbles per game, more than the Monreal, who averaged just 0.4 and Sead Kolasinac, who averaged 0.65.
The attacking prowess of the youngster doesn’t end there, especially when you look at the number of crosses per game. While Kolasinac averaged 2.2 per game in the Premier League last season, Tierney averaged a mammoth 5.5 (via We Are The Arsenal).
What about the defensive side of Tierney’s game? Well, it’s just as good as his attacking side. Last season, the Scotsman committed just 0.6 fouls per game, whereas Monreal and Kolasinac averaged 0.8 and 0.9. He wasn’t just calm in defence, he was also very strong, winning 3.3 tackles per game in all competitions (via We Are The Arsenal).
Tierney is a huge upgrade on Kolasinac and Monreal, and an early return will be great for Emery ahead of a big season for the club.
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