Kieran Tierney says he’s focused on giving his all for Arsenal and says his future isn’t in his hands.
Speculation was rife at the tail-end of last season that the Scotland international would draw a line under his time at Emirates Stadium this summer having reportedly grown frustrated at a lack of game time.
Newcastle United and former club Celtic were mooted as possible destinations but so far, there’s nothing to suggest a departure is imminent. By the sound of things, Tierney isn’t agitating for a move.
“It’s not really up to me (my future),” he told The Athletic. “I’m happy, I’m working hard every day and getting minutes. I’m just trying to do as well as I can.”
Asked if he’s had conversations with the manager about his future, he said, “no” before adding, “You can’t play every single game, every single season, every single year. I don’t expect that and I still made a lot of appearances last year.
“I was ready every game and working 100 per cent. I think everyone in there would agree with that, that I never give less than that whether I’m playing or not.
“In the games I did play I tried to do my best for the team. I came off the bench a lot last season, whether that was to see games out or help get a goal.”
It may well be that Tierney and Arsenal are waiting to see how the chips fall over the coming weeks. The addition of Jurrien Timber, a right-back with the qualities to invert in a fashion similar to Oleksandr Zinchenko, may open up more opportunities for a traditional full-back on the other flank.
If that is the case, Tierney may back himself to get back in the side, even with competition from Zinchenko, Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu.
The other factor at play is Arsenal’s need to balance the books. Having spent £200 million on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Timber, there’s pressure to recoup funds and Tierney could command an attractive fee.
For more on Tierney and the role he might be asked to play, head to the main blog for musings from Lewis Ambrose
Thinking out loud: If Arsenal don’t find a buyer and using Timber means a change at left-back, does Kieran Tierney have a big part to play next season?
— Lewis (@LGAmbrose) July 24, 2023