Kieran Tierney says he wanted to join Real Sociedad the moment he learned of their interest and says Martin Odegaard, who previously spent a spell on loan at the Reale Arena, and the club’s Spanish coaches all backed the move.
The Scotland international signed a season-long loan with the San Sebastian outfit at the end of August and made his debut during Saturday’s 5-3 win over Grenada, playing 69 minutes.
It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the full-back who is currently on duty with his country ahead of a European qualifier with Cyprus and a friendly with England.
“My Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard, who has played for the club, was able to tell me everything about the club and the city,” Tierney told the Scottish Sun.
“He thinks it is a great move for me. Martin has been a massive help.
“I had different options but told my agent that my heart was set on Real Sociedad and from the first moment I arrived I knew it was 100 per cent for me. Everyone has made me feel wanted.
“There’s a few Spanish coaches at Arsenal and they all said that personally and professionally I would love it at Real Sociedad. They felt it was a great moment to go there.”
Tierney joined the Gunners from Celtic in 2019 and was a regular for three years but fell down the pecking order last season after the acquisition of Oleksandr Zinchenko. While he may well have earned plenty of minutes off the bench at the Emirates, at 26, the Scot’s ambitions dictated that he search for regular starts elsewhere.
That desire to start matches also dictated Matt Turner’s decision to look elsewhere. The USA international joined Nottingham Forest in August in a deal that could be worth up to £10 million having spent a year as back-up to Aaron Ramsdale.
“Towards the end of the season, I felt like there were games that I could have been playing that I wasn’t even getting really a sniff of them,” Turner told reporters.
“I was training really well. I felt like I was doing everything in my power to get myself minutes on the team, and that just wasn’t happening for me.
“I knew that if I waited another year, it would probably have been more challenging for me to make a lateral move within the Premier League. So I knew that time was of the essence at that point. If I went another season without playing, I would have probably had to take a step back and once you’re out of it, it’s hard to get back into it, especially when you’re not English.
He added: “Credit to Aaron really because he brought it every single day. And when doors were cracked open, he always slammed it back shut. I think he’s a really talented goalkeeper and I think we always pushed each other to get better.”
Turner has already featured against Arsenal since his move and performed diligently even though his new side were downed 2-1 on the opening day of the new campaign.