Mikel Arteta says he’s “delighted” to have Kieran Tierney at his disposal and predicted the Scot will continue to improve having shaken off his injury problems.
After more than six months without a game, Tierney has demonstrated his versatility in the last 12 days featuring as a centre-back, left-back and wing-back across four appearances.
After going off against Southampton with cramp, the 23-year-old completed the full 90 minutes of Sunday’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United and cut an energetic presence, constantly overlapping to provide a dangerous outlet.
After watching his side progress to the FA Cup semi-final, the boss was asked about our summer signing. Arteta’s praise was fulsome.
“He’s been training incredibly hard through [the] COVID-19 [lockdown],” said the boss.
“It’s been a tough moment for him in the last six or seven months and to move here from a different city, a different football club.
“He is a kid with an incredible attitude and he is so willing to learn and to put in everything he has. He has a massive heart and I am delighted to have him in the team.
“He’s a kid who is going to get better and better and better.”
The boss also liked the spirit he saw from his players who progressed to Wembley courtesy of Dani Ceballos’ stoppage time strike. The Spaniard saved Arsenal’s blushes after another defensive calamity had allowed David McGoldrick to level things with four minutes remaining.
Asked what he liked most about the performance, the boss said: “I think the attitude and the commitment of every single player that was involved in the game or that was waiting for his opportunity.
“There were really good moments where we played and we did the things I asked them to do and the way we dealt with Sheffield United’s play.
“They are really good at what they do, the way they commit people forward, the way they play in the second phases, the way they defend outside the box.
“I knew there were some phases that we were going to suffer and how we dealt with that… I am really, really pleased.”