Arsenal legend Lauren has revealed he can’t “see why” the Gunners would sell Kieran Tierney, as he believes Mikel Arteta will “need” him in the squad.
Tierney’s Arsenal career has been largely hindered by injuries. He missed periods of each of his first three seasons as the club due to not being fit.
As such, the most appearances he has made for the Gunners was 27, two seasons ago. Last term, Tierney missed 16 games in the league, including the final 10, as he required knee surgery.
While there’s no way of knowing for sure, his presence could have helped Arsenal into the top four. Given his injury troubles, it’s little surprise a new left-back, Oleksandr Zinchenko, was signed in the summer.
The Ukrainian has been the preferred option on the left side of the defence, meaning Tierney has started just four times in the league during this campaign.
Reports in March suggested Arsenal would entertain the idea of selling the Scotsman. Transfer insider Ben Jacobs reported the Emirates outfit would likely look for a fee between £35-40million.
That could be to the benefit of Newcastle United, who are reported to have been interested for a while.
While that move would be a good one for them, Gunners legend Lauren feels Arsenal need to keep hold of Tierney.
“I don’t see why he should go. If Arsenal don’t need the money, why would you sell him? He’s a very good player,” he told Sporting Post.
“We saw it against Spain in the recent international for Scotland and he played very well.”
Lauren feels Tierney has become accustomed to Arsenal’s style of play, and problems could stem from his departure.
“He understands the ideas of Arteta now – rather than being in the wide areas, tucking inside and being like another midfield player, receiving the ball from the centre-backs and then starting the moves from there,” he added.
“You need everyone and you need Kieran to be in the squad. You never know from now, anything can happen with injuries and he needs to be focused and to play the way he is being asked by Arteta.”
Indeed, Tierney is one of two left-backs in the Gunners squad, alongside Zinchenko. Takehiro Tomiyasu is also capable of playing in the position, but has been used sparingly there this season.
As such, Lauren’s viewpoint makes sense, and that’s likely why Arsenal would seemingly want more than what they paid for Tierney if they were to let him go.
For the left-back himself, it seems he’s firmly behind Zinchenko in the pecking order. As such, a move away to be a starter might be preferable, though there are no guarantees he’d have that luxury.