Arsenal have confirmed that defender Kieran Tierney will spend next season on loan at La Liga side Real Sociedad.
In a somewhat surprising move, the 26-year-old has now departed on loan, with no buy option, to Imanol Alguacil’s side, who are returning to the Champions League this season having finished fourth in the previous campaign.
Tierney appeared in the Community Shield, but failed to make the matchday squad for any Premier League game this season, and has now departed in search of game time. Newcastle United were also interested, but La Real have now secured their main target.
The left-back is a popular player among the Arsenal fanbase, and he has now taken to Twitter to express his gratitude towards the fans.
“Thank you to everyone for your support as always. Grateful,” he tweeted.
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Why have Arsenal loaned Tierney out?
Some have questioned this bit of business from the club. Jurrien Timber picked up a long-term injury, having started the opening two games at left-back, and Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu have poor injury records.
Arsenal may now need to enter the market to increase their depth at fullback, whilst simultaneously gaining no transfer fee for Tierney. There is an argument to be made that Arsenal should have either sold him, or failing that, kept him in the squad.
However, the idea may be that given his age and the fact that he has a long-term contract, a year of playing regularly at a top team in the Champions League could help boost his transfer value ahead of deal next year, rather than letting his value fall without game time in North London.
Tierney lost his spot to Zinchenko, with Arteta preferring to utilise a system which employs an inverted full-back, a style which does not suit the Scotland star’s skillset.
Once a candidate for the captain’s armband, Tierney found his status in the squad dramatically decline, and he will hope to rediscover his best form in Spain.