Arsenal loanee admits that his future at the Emirates is up in the air: ‘That’s not having a dig’

Joe Williams
Arsenal duo Kieran Tierney and Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta allowed Kieran Tierney to leave the Emirates on loan.

Kieran Tierney has hinted that his time at Arsenal is coming to an end with the defender enjoying his loan spell at Real Sociedad.

The Scotland international struggled with injuries and consistent form since arriving at the Emirates Stadium from Celtic in 2019 in a deal worth around £25m.

Tierney was finding it difficult to get a starting place under Mikel Arteta last season with 21 of his 27 Premier League appearances coming from the bench.

And Arsenal allowed him to join La Liga side Real Sociedad on a season-long loan deal at the end of August as the Scot looked for regular minutes.

The introduction of Oleksandr Zinchenko into the squad last term made Tierney’s job even harder but the Arsenal loanee has found it hard to argue with Arteta’s preference to play the Ukraine international.

“At Arsenal the left-back can be one of the most central players in the team,” Tierney told the Daily Mail.

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“If it’s Oleksandr Zinchenko then he is one of the biggest creators from a central position.

“When that got introduced it was alien to me. I had never played centre midfield, I started as a winger. I was trying to learn that when I was at Arsenal.

“When you see how well it works it is hard to question it. My choice was to just get on with it and learn and I got to practice it with one of the best.

“It’s so natural to Zinchenko, he makes it look so easy.”

It now looks likely Tierney may have played his final game for Arsenal despite being contracted to the Gunners for another two seasons.

When asked whether his future was still with Arsenal, Tierney added: “It’s hard to say. I loved my time there and I still have two years on the contract.

“I am very grateful to Arsenal. I don’t know what’s going to happen but I am absolutely loving it here [at Real Sociedad].

“I feel I have adapted quite well and I hope I can return the faith the club have shown. This is a very, very talented squad with world-class players and so many have come from the academy. It’s an amazing story.

“Coming here was easier than going to London, and that’s not having a dig at Arsenal because they helped me massively.

“Without the people at the club it would have been 10 times harder to adapt, but I was four years younger and moving from Scotland, it didn’t matter where I went, that was going to be the hardest part.

“It’s an amazing thing to go to play for Arsenal but you still have your hurdles to overcome.

“Then a couple of months later Covid hits and you don’t get to see anyone for months. The people at Arsenal were all amazing.”