Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer mistake highlighted as £25m star admits he is ‘not talking to Arteta’

Ben Stewart
Kieran Tierney could be on the move this summer

Kieran Tierney could be on the move this summer

Martin Keown thinks that Arsenal should have kept Kieran Tierney around this season, instead of sending him out on loan to Real Sociedad.

The Scottish full-back joined Arsenal back in 2019 for a reported fee of £25m. He quickly became a fan favourite with the Arsenal faithful, although a series of injuries then hampered his progress.

Upon Oleksandr Zinchenko’s arrival in 2022, Tierney then fell down the pecking order in north London and the club made the decision to send him out on loan for the entirety of 2023/24.

He’s spent the season with Real Sociedad and despite missing a chunk of the campaign through injury, the Scottish full-back has been playing more regularly since the turn of the year.

As Zinchenko’s form has fluctuated throughout the campaign, Arsenal have used Jakub Kiwior in the left-back role at times.

While the Polish defender has done a solid enough job during his time in the starting XI, Keown thinks that the Gunners would have been better off by keeping Tierney around.

“I like Kieran. I’d have liked to see him stay,” Keown told talkSPORT. “Kiwior has been given the opportunity, and I’m not certain he is ready yet.

“Zinchenko is the player who came on at half-time (against Bayern Munich). I thought that was a really good move. (Arteta) might have wondered whether Kiwior was ready to play in that game, and that’s Tierney’s position.

“You might argue (Tierney) has been unlucky. But he wants to play. Let’s see what happens.

“Arteta has made some really big calls and he won’t be afraid to make them in the future. It might be that there’s another left-back who comes in. Someone completely different. So, let’s see what happens.”

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Tierney not speaking to Arteta

Earlier this month, TEAMtalk sources revealed that Arsenal are planning to sell Tierney in the summer transfer window and Aston Villa are among the clubs interested.

While his contract in north London is still valid until 2026, it doesn’t seem as if he has much of a future at the Emirates.

Tierney himself recently opened up on his current situation and how much he has been enjoying life in Spain. He also confirmed that he’s not been in contact with Arteta of late.

“Honestly, this is an incredible experience, I enjoy it,” Tierney told talkSPORT. “It’s a shame that there is so little time left, there are a good six or seven weeks left of the season.”

When asked about returning to Arsenal, he added: “In football you never know. It’s a bit strange that you can come back the way (William) Saliba did. It is strange to be on loan for four years and then return to play.

“Football is crazy, so we’ll see. I’m not talking to Arteta, he’s busy there.”

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