Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney should start against Barcelona in his side’s next friendly fixture, as the Gunners continue their pre-season preparations.
Mikel Arteta’s side have won just one of their friendlies so far, having drawn 1-1 with FC Nuremburg, beaten the MLS All Stars 5-0 and lost 2-0 to Manchester United, and are set to face the Spanish Champions in the USA later this week.
In terms of left-back options, Arteta has plenty to pick from. First-choice Oleksander Zinchenko is currently injured, and in the three friendlies so far he has picked Jakub Kiwior and Takehiro Tomiyasu from the start.
Tierney appeared as a substitute in all of the matches, and was one of Arsenal’s better performers as he replaced Tomiyasu for the second half of the Man United defeat.
After settling for a place on the bench in the two games so far, Tierney has shown in his cameo appearances that he deserves a chance from the start in the next match, in what could be a good opportunity to prove to Arteta that he is capable of being a key player within the squad.
Should Arsenal keep Tierney?
Tierney was linked with a move away earlier this summer, having lost his starting spot to Zinchenko, but these links have now gone quiet, and he could still stay at the club.
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The 26-year-old was a key player until the arrival of Zinchenko, and injury problems over the years, as well as a change in system, has seen his importance to the team decrease.
However, the arrival of Jurrien Timber could help Tierney regain a regular role in the side. Timber can replicate Zinchenko’s inverted full-back/midfielder role on the right hand side, and allow the Scotland international to play a role more suited to his strengths.
Tierney is a traditional full-back, who excels in defensive duels and crossing on the overlap, rather than tucking into midfield, and if he is given a role where he could thrive, rather than having to try and replicate the impact of Zinchenko, he could still be a useful asset for Arsenal.