Kieran Tierney has spoken out about his decision to leave Arsenal.

Left-back Kieran Tierney left Arsenal in the recent summer transfer window, joining Spanish side Real Sociedad on a season-long loan deal.

Tierney first joined the Gunners in 2019, arriving at the Emirates Stadium in a £25 million switch from his boyhood club Celtic. Once he got fully fit, he quickly established himself as a key figure for the north London club, impressing with his drive, work-rate, and delivery from the flank. 

The Scottish defender was also reliably solid at the back, and his personality and performances endeared him to the Arsenal faithful. Whilst fitness issues were a regular concern, Tierney was the club’s first-choice left-back, until Mikel Arteta signed Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City in the summer of 2022.

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The arrival of the Ukrainian was bad news for Tierney. His interpretation of the left-back role, which he performs in an inverted manner, drifting into midfield, radically changed how Arsenal play. Tierney, who is a far more traditional example of a full-back, struggled to adapt to this new tactical demand, and slipped down the pecking order as a result.

At 26-years-old, the 40-cap Scotland international needs to be playing regular football. He wasn’t going to get that chance this season with the Gunners. As such, a switch to Real Sociedad made sense.

Manchester City v Arsenal - The FA Community Shield
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Tierney had no issues with leaving Arsenal

Tierney himself has been clear that leaving Arsenal wasn’t a decision he struggled with. As quoted by the Daily Record, he said, “was it a hard decision? No, it was an easy decision. It was a big decision, but an easy decision. Clearly it’s a big change for me.”

“Culturally, the league, the language, everything is different. But I think you have to embrace it and put yourself in uncomfortable positions sometimes.”

“You just have to enjoy it, go make the most of it and learn everything you can. I want to grow as a person and grow as a player and that’s my ambition.”

Whilst his spell in La Liga is currently only set to be a temporary one, it is highly unlikely that there is any future for Tierney at Arsenal. He has been a fine servant for the club, having made 124 appearances in all competitions. However, the £110,000-a-week defender is no longer a part of Arteta’s plans.

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