Newcastle United are expected to make a move for Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney in the summer transfer window, according to reports.
Tierney joined the Gunners from his boyhood club Celtic in August 2019 for a fee in the region of £25million.
When fit, he has been an important player for Mikel Arteta and was a huge part of Arsenal’s rebuilding process under the Spanish manager.
However, injuries have been far too frequent over the years and Arteta decided to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko last summer.
The Ukrainian international has been undroppable this term, slotting in as a central midfielder during Arsenal’s build-up phase.
Tierney is an excellent player, but does not fit that role in Arteta’s system and plays more as a traditional, overlapping, full-back who creates chances by crossing the ball.
News that Newcastle are interested in signing Tierney does not come as a surprise whatsoever.
Dan Burn has been Eddie Howe’s first-choice left-back this season with Matt Targett struggling to stay fit.
While he has performed well for a lot of this campaign, Burn is definitely a player who can be replaced and upgraded relatively easily.
Tierney only has four starts in the Premier League this campaign and is obviously no longer Arteta’s first-choice left-back, meaning he will surely be able to leave at the end of the season.
A player of his quality should be starting in the Premier League, though he does not strike me as the sort of character to kick up a fuss and force a move.
The 25-year-old would walk into Newcastle’s starting XI and would probably be an undisputed starter for the Magpies for a long time.
To avoid his career stagnating ahead of his prime years, Tierney should leave Arsenal – as much as it pains me to say as a supporter.
Howe is apparently a ‘long-term admirer’ of the Scotland international, but with three-and-a-half years left on his Arsenal contract, the Premier League leaders would expect a ‘significant fee’, likely to be above £30m.
Like the other report, it is stated that a new left-back is a ‘key priority’ for Howe and Tierney is ‘likely’ to be available in the summer.
The Arsenal hierarchy ‘accept’ that the former Celtic defender will not be happy with a similar role next season and Arteta ‘will not stand in his way’ should Tierney want to leave.
The Gunners are ‘adamant’ they will not make a loss on the £25m they spent to sign the 25-year-old from the Scottish giants.
It is added that Newcastle are interested in Leicester City duo James Maddison and Youri Tielemans.
Tierney has often spoken about how he misses home, and while Newcastle is obviously still in England, it is substantially closer to Glasgow than London.
The transfer makes so much sense, and ex-Arsenal defender Mikael Silvestre believes Tierney faces an “impossible” task breaking back into the club’s starting XI.
“Zinchenko is quite a special player. That’s what it is (when asked why Tierney is not able to break into the starting XI),” Silvestre told bettingexpert.com.
“You have to compete with someone else who’s won the Premier League already with City and he’s doing well.
“That’s what it is, it’s just tough because of that. So, you have to be patient.
“It doesn’t mean you just let go and wait. You have to prove in training every time that you deserve to play.
“But yes, it is difficult to get Zinchenko out of the team. It is pretty much impossible.”