'Different element': 'Brilliant' Arsenal player is proving Ashley Cole right

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There weren’t many Arsenal players who could’ve held their heads high during our terrible winless run. Gabriel Magalhaes was arguably one of them, but his red card against Southampton attracted a ton of criticism.

One player who has been almost flawless is Kieran Tierney. The Scotsman has had a tremendous season so far and his performance against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday made him an even bigger fan favourite at the Emirates.

Arsenal have massively struggled for creativity this season. Our midfielders, during our barren run, barely created anything for our forwards. Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka have solved that issue over the last few games, but Tierney has outshined them.

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Gunners Invincible Ashley Cole noticed Tierney’s quality well before his recent heroics. The legendary English full-back claimed back in July that the Scotsman brings a ‘different element’ to Arsenal’s attack, and his performances this term show exactly that.

Cole: Tierney is brilliant

Cole told Sky Sports (via Record) after our draw against Leicester in July: “He’s been solid. He came to Arsenal with high expectations, watching him at Celtic he was brilliant.”

“And then he came carrying an injury. He didn’t start the season and now he’s starting to get back to fitness and, for me, being a star of this Arsenal defence.”

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“I think one thing that Arsenal were probably lacking in the past year was a left-back that was solid, didn’t get beaten in one-versus-one situations – he doesn’t get beaten in one-v-one situations. But I also think the way he attacks and the timing of his attacking runs, it brings a different element to Arsenal and a different way to attack.”

Tierney’s ‘different element’ in Arsenal’s attack is helping us massively. He has created 20 chances from open play this season – more than any of his teammates and the third best record for a defender in the Premier League. (Opta/Orbinho)

His goal on Saturday showed something completely different. Arsenal fans hadn’t seen that side of him during his 18 months at club, and it is a fantastic weapon for Arteta to have at his disposal.

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