Your reaction to the headline may not have been favourable but let me just state before I receive a stream of negative emails or comments from Arsenal supporters that I am a massive Kieran Tierney fan. The flying Scot has everything I look for in a professional footballer – technique, guts, desire, ambition. determination, aggression, genuine spirit, and a will to win.
However, he does have a habit of being on the treatment table on a fairly regular basis, which is a concern. He arrived injured and has continued to be the subject of niggles ever since. His continued absence is a massive loss to Arsenal in the LB role and the side looks less of a threat going forward as a result.
Arsenal, on their part, love an injured player and have made many purchases that have had problems rolling out in an Arsenal kit over the years. Abu Diaby was probably the worst example, but Jack Wilshere and Robin Van Persie also spring to mind when it comes to recurring injuries, and let’s not forget Kim Källström and Denis Suárez, both panic loans, both hardly worth the effort let alone the money.
Kieran Tierney certainly isn’t in that company yet, but if Arsenal have an exquisite player that will be missing for a quarter of their games, I hope they have a long-term plan B. The impressive young Scot missed out on Scotland’s opening Euro 2020 game but is understood to be preparing for the mouthwatering clash with England.
Looking through his list of injuries just for the 2020/21 season, Tierney spent 54 days away from the game and since 2016/17, he has missed games every season due to a combination of ailments including the groin, hip, calf, shoulder, and ruptured ankle ligaments.
He’s been absent for 83 games, that’s over two entire seasons in just five years which suggests that he needs to train differently or alter the way he plays. That could be something incredibly difficult to achieve due to the intensity he brings, which is something we all admire about his game.
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Bare minimum, Arteta, and Edu now have to formulate a plan that incorporates losing him for up to 8 weeks per season and bringing in a quality replacement, failure to do so would be a massive oversight in my opinion. Although Mikel Arteta has creative problems, his big riddle is in defence with Bellerin’s imminent departure, an unsettled central defensive pairing, and Tierney’s endless injuries, so there’s a lot of work to be done in the weeks ahead.
Quite how Arteta approaches the Scottish player‘s injuries next term will be interesting, but at least Arsenal have fewer games due to their inability to qualify for Europe. Perhaps, he has to protect him and use him sparingly in key games until he becomes physically stronger and more resilient, or feature him exclusively in the Premier League. Who knows but cross your fingers, it’s just a phase because Arsenal truly need Kieran Tierney.