Sunday, April 21, 2024

Confirmed: Kieran Tierney joins Real Sociedad on loan

Arsenal have confirmed that Kieran Tierney will spend the season on loan at La Liga outfit Real Sociedad.

The Scotland international moves to Spain for a shot at more regular football with Mikel Arteta comfortable that he has enough bodies in his squad to cover for Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back.

The Gunners completed the £25 million signing of Tierney from Celtic on transfer deadline day in the summer of 2019 and he was quick to impress under Unai Emery after overcoming a groin issue. While injuries continued to pockmark his time at Emirates Stadium, Mikel Arteta clearly admired the player’s professionalism and even deployed him as an auxiliary centre-back as he teased new formations.

The arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko, and a reinterpretation of how Arteta viewed the left-back slot, was the first sign that Tierney, who had been earmarked as a potential club captain, was no longer first choice in his first position.

While the Scot made 36 appearances last season, his total minutes compared to the season before dropped by nearly 700. Most of his starts came in the Europa League and domestic cups and when asked to invert like Zinchenko, he looked less than comfortable.

Rumours of a potential exit first arose in January when Newcastle United were said to be interested and former club Celtic also flirted with an audacious reunion. Ultimately, the players wages proved problematic.

Under contract until 2026, Arsenal decided they could afford to let Tierney leave on loan for the year but they’ll be hoping his performances for Sociedad put him back in the shop window next year.

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Good luck Kieran. I guess, being an actual defender, you are no longer needed in our defence.


Such a depressing place this after a loss, or even a draw.
Was watching the game back, we actually played quite well. Couple of fuck ups and didn’t take our chances.


Yeah, got really toxic here really fast. After all of last season’s good energies, then beating City for the community shield and two tough wins to start the season, just one draw and suddenly Arteta has no idea what he’s doing and apparently it’s all going to sh*t? Okay. I used to get really depressed after Arsenal losses because it didn’t seem like we were going anywhere and no one was taking responsibility and addressing the issues. Well call me naive but I feel like the people currently in charge of the club have demonstrated that they do do that,… Read more »


I think Arteta’s statement about we were 10 times better than last year doesn’t help to calm down the nerves.

A Gooner in Valencia

It’s true though


Fans may be fickle with their emotions. But Fulham was one game we should have won. We didn’t because Arteta overthinking and experimenting what’s already working. His post match comments suggest he’s not going to stop benching Big Gabby and playing Partey out of position just to accommodate Kai any time soon. If he doesn’t go back to basics against Man U next Sunday and drops more points, you’d probably be leading the outrage here unless you are averse to result and common sense.


expectations are getting higher… 😃


I guess it’s just that both fuck-ups were entirely avoidable and a consequence of our defensive shape being all over the place (first goal) and marking non-existent (second). From the outside, this appears to be through the wilful omission of Gabriel and persistent fielding of Partey as what I can only call a false right back which, to my eyes at least, is not working. My fear of course is that the underlying reason might be that Gabriel is about to be sold. All of this, I feel, raises legitimate questions. There is a healthy middle ground between blind acceptance… Read more »


I have reservations about Partey on the right but for the most part it has worked. It was a response to losing Zinchenko on the left and at first it was Partey + Jorgi.
We were a lot more fucked before we tried Partey there, if I remember right.
Dropping big Gabi is harder to understand, I hope he isn’t going.


Those seem to be the predominant complaints and for me they assume at least one of two things if not both a) that we know better than Arteta what the best tactics are and who our best players are and b) that Arteta isn’t extremely frustrated by the lost points and the issues with the way we played to start the season. There’s also a stark conservatism showing here that seems to have strong disdain for trying something new and trying to innovate, even though that approach is what got us to where we are in the first place. Sometimes… Read more »


Unless the continued omission of Gabriel isn’t actually tactical at all and is a consequence of something else that we are not being told. I’m all for innovation and, of course, Arteta knows more than any of us, but security at the back has to be a cornerstone and we don’t have that at the moment. Acknowledging when something isn’t working also requires humility.


I agree, I hope he is humble enough to do that. I don’t really get the conspiracy theories about Gabriel though, if it wasn’t tactical, why would he then change the tactical formation insead of just plugging someone else in (e.g. Kiwior who was brought in specifically for that role, and who did start the last game but not in that role) instead of Gabriel in the same formation?


That’s a fair question, and I hope you’re right. If our aim though is essentially to have three defenders and an extra midfielder on the pitch who can drop into a full-black slot when required, then I’d be tempted just to play Gabriel, Saliba and White as a three, with either Zinchenko or Partey alongside Rice in the middle. I think that would give us better security and we seem already to eschewed the option of overlapping width from the back anyway.

A Different George

I think your point about the extreme conservatism shown by supporters is important. Does playing Partey as an inverted right fullback work? Well, it allows us to get an extra midfielder when in possession despite Zinchenko’s (and, it turns out, Timber’s) absence . But it disrupts some of the good White/Saka/Odegaard chemistry. On balance, does it make the team better? How can you possibly tell without trying?


I think it makes us weaker.. noticeably.


Funny enough I think this makes Arteta weaker, this is a squad built by and for him, with no expense spared, both in the buying and the selling. Everytime he falls out with a player it’s de club that takes a hit, and there’s only so much money the club can afford to lose.

I’m gutted for Tierney but now Arteta is a hiding to nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Arteta and everything he has done for the club but his credit isn’t infinite


Mate, we finished second to the best club in the world, that buys you a pretty significant amount of credit.


you are right, but … the problem with that is that it put us back into the perceived mediocrity (for a club like Arsenal) that getting second to mancity and achieving CL status is good enough.


Shit move by Arteta and Edu.


A very wrong move, made worse by the glaring defensive lapses in our game yesterday, and one which i sincerely for the love of The Arsenal wont come back to haunt us. Meanwhile all the best KT


If a player wants to go, you have to let him. You cant force a player to stay. Like its not FIFA, its real life. I’m sure if Tierney wanted to stay, the club would be happy to have him butbhe wants first team football so wanted to leave and who can blame him


Not when you intentionally and willfully force such a player out even against his own wish. It wasn’t long ago that Tierney was been touted as a potential captain and whenever he played, he did so with passion. But suddenly the coach decides that he’s not useful. For Scotland, he plays as a LCB. So if Arteta decides that he isn’t a good fit for his inverted LB role, why not use him as a centre back then or at least as a different option LB for certain games. At the end of the day, a professional athlete’s career is… Read more »

Larry mccarthy

Good luck KT, sad the way you have been treated.

John Lukic

Doing clever tactics against a particular opponent to be unpredictable is cool & all, but doing the same trick week in week out is just nuts imho. I’m talking about Thomas at RB.

Bill Hall

All the best to him. I sincerely sincerely hope this doesn’t come back to bite us on the arse but have a feeling it will.

Alan Sunderland

You could be right, hard to see how paying Tierney to play for someone else is a good idea. Smith rowe seems to be on the same path.

El Mintero

If ESR is next to be frozen out that will be a fkn travesty…


I’m not happy about the way KT is being treated by Mikel. Playing Xhaka and Tomi as a left back before him is really an asaault. He can’t invert like Zinchenko does, but can defend at left back better than anyone else. But obviously in Mikel’s mind we don’t need proper defenders. So we’ll be scratching our heads when we concede goals that really hurt our title race (if we’re in it this year). Oh, and…are we gonna ignore the fact that Timber is out with a season long injury? All the best KT.


This x100

Eric Blair

An assault? Take a deep breath.


Was trying Tierney at left back with Zinchenko in midfield at least once too much to ask for?

Merlin’s Panini

I had also wanted to see this. Tierney is a great player and it’s sad to think he won’t wear the Arsenal shirt again but you never know. With the way football works he could outlast the manager with a contract until 2026. I feel he’s been a victim of our rapid progress given he seemed very much in the manager’s plans when he signed that new deal.
He’s a proper traditional fullback, like Winterburn.

Eric Blair

Has everyone forgotten his terrible injury record that made it impossible to depend on him? It’s not his fault of course, but we need to build a squad that can make it through to the end of the season and Tierney has just never been able to do that.
I feel sorry for him but we need to think of ourselves and maximising our chances of success and relying on Tierney’s fitness is not doing that.


Does Zinchenko have a better injury record? This is someone that was injured through the duration of preseason and missed a large chunk of last season with injuries. And whenever he’s fit, he always seems to have a costly defensive lapse in him.
How does the rule apply to Tierney and doesn’t apply to Zinchenko?


Errr Zinnys injury record wouldn’t suggest he’s more reliable on the fitness front ? Or Tomi either ?


Are you suggesting his injury record is worse than Zinnys.


Reason he didn’t do that is because we have to many midfielders. Some are still screaming for their first game like ESR and Reiss. Arteta is ruthless. Once you doesn’t fit into his game plan, you out. Using Tomi and Xhaka ahead of Tierney is a total insult. better he leave for his own sake.

A Different George

The whole point–the only point- of inverting a fullback when in possession is to give you an *extra* player in the midfield.


Good luck KT. It still seems a bit weird to me how he has been treated. I get the whole ‘he can’t do what Zinny can do’ argument for not playing him….(& even then it is very clear there have been games where KT’s qualities were more suited than Zinny’s) ……..but our first 3 games of the season have made it clear that Tomi & Kiwior are no more comfortable with Arteta’s requirements than KT was…


Tough world to be in when you are judged by what only one LB in the world can do and not the standard for your position.

Lord Bendnter

Newcastle could really have used a Tierney today against Liverpool


Oh my god!


Our best player not long ago.


Do we have less defenders now than we had last year in a defensive crisis?
Surely there’s a defender coming in the door


I am surprised about the downvotes. but it seems that we have now acknowledged that we will play a back four with two CB such as

White and Saliba
Partey and Zinny either side of them
with Kiwior, and Tomi as back up to the 4 of them.
with timber in the mix it might have worked.


Hate to see him leave, love the speed and energy he always played with. I know he doesn’t “fit” Arteta’s idea for a defender, but was nice to have an option to have a speedy outside defender when needed and someone who could fly up and down the wing on the attack and whip some great crosses in.

Man Manny

Arteta’s overthinking will be the undoing of Arsenal this season if they fall below last year’s standards.

A Gooner in Valencia

I’m so sad to see him go, but coincidentally I’ll be in the Reale Arena next week for his debut.
He’s joining a really lovely club for a year and I hope he has a great time.


Don’t panic, we still have Cedric.

Sammy Nelsons Arse

And we will have for ever and ever

Sammy Nelsons Arse

Not happy about this at all, this guy has been great for us and in my opinion we have treated him abysmally


I think playing people who aren’t actually left backs ahead of him was a really shabby move by Arteta, especially as it didn’t make us better defensively to leave him out.


Seems a terrible shame. By virtue of somebody with a singular talent coming in, albeit no better defensively, he’s been thrown to the side it seems. Football can be a cruel sport.
Genuinely one of the best left backs in the league, seems astounding to me that nobody else was interested.
I fear that Arteta has something of the Wenger in the single-minded stubbornness and inflexibility in his ideals. I worry this may come back to bite us in the arse.


“albeit a lot worse defensively”.


All I can guess from all this is that there’s some personal beef between Arteta and Tierney.

Arteta is now making a massive rod for his own back with these bonkers decisions with Tierney, Havertz and Partey.

All the good work of last season is being ruined.


Fats we just have to look at this forum to see that the connection between the club and the fans is starting to fall apart ! And ESR Reiss Nelson Viera Balogun Trossard & more must be scratching their heads re:selection ? Team spirit & togetherness is a huge part of football but Arteta would appear to be dismantling it ? Division of Havertz playing Tierney doing nothing wrong but face doesn’t fit does not foster a spirit ! I liked what we were last season but we will rapidly lose our Arsenal if Arteta continues down this road


I’ve been supporting Arsenal for nearly 50 years and I’ve never been so frustrated.

Arteta is so close to doing great things at the club. He’s taken us to a great position but sabotaged everything with weak and illogical decisions recently.

We absolutely should have won the title last season. Better management would have got us over the line.

Now he’s wreaking all his good work with stupid team management.

I was slagged off on Saturday when I called for a new manager. But maybe a new boss is the only thing that can turn us into champions.


Unbelievably, I almost agreed with every word of this. Except the last sentence.


take over, fats! ✊


Really gutted to see him leave. Gave everything for the shirt. A no nonsense defender, miles better at defending than the current lot Arteta is deploying at left back.
We could have easily created space for him to play regularly but Arteta wanted him out.
Arteta has lost some credits with this move.
Anyway, good luck to KT. Top lad and one hell of a footballer.

Mikels Arteta

Considering we’ve been playing this back 3, would have that there’d be a place for him considering he plays in a back 3 for Scotland

Fan Favourite. Good luck in Spain!


Tierney deserved this axe less than anyone in the squad. There was one year he was arguably the best player in our squad! Never forget shirt and shorts in the dead of winter and smashing it in the back of the net. Top shelf left back! This move has nothing to do with him. It’s purely the system.

Spanish Gooner

Arteta built a system with Tierney in it for two full seasons and both times it fell apart when Tierney did, once because he chose to go away on international duty while injured. We then replaced Tierney and had our best season in 20 years in a large part thanks to his replacement. That’s football.


It helped that so many of the other big teams had really crap seasons last season. Even so, we still didn’t win anything and we threw away our best chance of winning the league in years. And the rot started to set in around the time Trent Alexander-Arnold nutmegged our first choice LB to set up Liverpool’s equaliser and leave us hanging on for the draw. That may well be football, but it’s not defending.

Red Arrow

From being a certain starter to having several others take his position must be demoralising. Unless there has been some busy up between KT and the manager I can’t understand how or why we are letting go of him especially after Timbers injury. Feel KT hasn’t been treated well. Best of luck to him at RS.

Red Arrow

Bust up**


Best of luck to Kieran Happy for the lad that he can play for a team that understands the importance of defenders & that he is treated accordingly. Wearing short sleeve shirts on a cold snowy Wednesday at Burnley shows more about the lads character than inverting his socks onto his opposite feet ! I wish you well & thank you for being a true footballer and Gooner !

Master Floda

How can they afford his wages? Apparently he’s on nearly twice as much as their highest paid player. I guess we’re retaining some of the salary?


And sadly none of his defensive abilities


they only pay wages till june, so 9 months, which is £4.2 millions, round up to 6m, to include loan fee, and that’s like signing £24mil player on a 4 years contract without having to pay wages.
that’s a great deal they are getting.

Master Floda

It would be end of June, so 10 months. And yes, they safe on a transfer fee, but they lose the player again, while you could resell a player you buy (unless you’re Arsenal), so that makes the 24m argument a bit moot.


BBC could know more than you, 100% wages plus loan fee up to £7m, but no doubt you have other source for you belief that there is no fee involved, even at £7m they get a great deal and that’s not moot


And/or we are part paying his wages


Like most on here, am perplexed about the whole situation. KT offered a unique tactical option in that not only can he provide those overlaps and crosses in attack, he’s also solid defensively and has impressed in a back three. I could see him in a similar role to Walker at City, who also struggles to invert but is an important piece of the puzzle nonetheless. There’s no way Mikel doesn’t see this, so I guess the only thing I can think of is that maybe KT hasn’t responded to being dropped in a way Mikel wants his players to?… Read more »


Don’t understand the current transfer policy or team selections and why we are letting Tierney go, but good luck to him. He makes far less errors than ZInchenko but Arteta just seems to want multi positional players. Ps Havertz is a waste of money


Unpopular opinion but I don’t fully understand why Tierney and Tomiyasu are seen as different types of defenders. I guess it’s that Tomiyasu can play anywhere in the back 4 but I’m not convinced. Football is mental.

It Is What It Is

Like a reverse Nacho.


Sad. He was a # one and we needed cover at left back. Enter Zivchenko, new # one lb. Tierney no. 2. Wait. Let’s play Tomi there. #3. And let’s sign Timber. #4. WTF. How does this transpire? Did he all of a sudden forget how to play football? OK. Zivchenko hurt, Tomi unreliable, Timber done. Who is our LB now. Such piss poor man management. I think he was treated terribly.

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