Kieran Tierney has opened up on his role at Arsenal and where his future might lie.

Speaking after Arsenal’s 2-0 pre-season defeat to Manchester United, Kieran Tierney has given an insight into his position in Mikel Arteta’s squad, and discussed the possibility of moving on this summer.

Having fallen down the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium last season, following the arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Tierney has been linked with an exit in this transfer window. Newcastle United seems his most likely destination. A return to Celtic could also be on the cards, not that that would necessarily suit Arsenal.

However, Tierney has played down any talk of an immediate move, saying, “it’s not really up to me. I’ve not had any discussions with the manager and I’m just working hard every day and trying to do as well as I can,” as quoted by Football Scotland.

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Arsenal v Manchester United - Pre-Season Friendly
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Kieran Tierney’s future at Arsenal

When the Scot was used by the Gunners last season, he was often asked to replicate Zinchenko’s function on the pitch. The Ukrainian left-back likes to invert, and operate largely in the middle of the park. Tierney is a more traditional full-back, so this didn’t suit his natural game.

The 26-year-old also spoke about this tactical shift: “Zinny is the prime example of how to play that role so if you’re going to learn off anyone it would be him. I’ve been watching him and asking him questions…Video helps for sure, but even when I’m on the bench I watch Zinny when he goes inside and when he comes out. It was all genuinely new to me because I’d never played in the centre of the park before. It wasn’t somewhere I ventured very often so it makes you a better player learning about these roles.”

The truth is, Tierney is never going to be able to do what Zinchenko does to the same level. The 39-cap Scotland international is a great defender, and offers a lot going forward, but he isn’t well-suited for Arteta’s very specific vision for the left-back role.

If a significant offer for Tierney does come in this summer, Arsenal would be wise to take it.

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