‘Growing expectation’ senior Arsenal star will leave, with potential new signing to force mass reshuffle
A senior Arsenal star “could move in the summer” amid a growing feeling all parties are open to an exit, and one observer has laid out how Mikel Arteta will reshape a key department in his team – potentially with the aid of a new signing this month.
The list of things Arsenal have done well over the last few years is a long one. However, perhaps top of the pile is their near-faultless record in the transfer market.
The strongest Arsenal eleven Arteta has regularly fielded this season contains nine players who were signed from 2019 onwards. The only outliers are Granit Xhaka who arrived in 2016 and Bukayo Saka who is homegrown.
Among those vital recent recruits is Olekasandr Zinchenko who quickly displaced Kieran Tierney to become No 1 at left-back.
Tierney, 25, has tumbled down the pecking order and even when Zinchenko hasn’t played, still hasn’t been assured of starts at left-back.
Indeed, Arteta memorably deployed the ultra-versatile Takehiro Tomiyasu on the left during their 3-2 victory over Liverpool on October 9. The Japan international was outstanding on the day and played a huge role in limiting Mohamed Salah’s impact.
Now, CBS Sports’ James Benge has insisted there’s a “growing expectation” Tierney will leave come the summer. Lifting the Premier League title may wind up being his last action in north London.
To make that scenario more likely, a new full-back will likely have to be signed and the Gunners are chasing Real Valladolid’s Ivan Fresneda.
The talented 18-year-old is actually a right-back, though Benge detailed how Arteta could juggle his pack to accommodate a Tierney exit.
“There is this growing expectation at Arsenal right now that Kieran Tierney could move in the summer,” said the reporter (via talkSPORT).
“I don’t think Arsenal would push him out the exit door but now he’s not a guaranteed starter. I think if the right offer came in, all parties are kind of thinking this is something that might happen, not guaranteed.
“In that case, what you could see is Fresneda coming in to play alongside Ben White as the two right-backs and then Tomiyasu actually basically becomes the back-up left-back, it’s a role he’s played quite a bit for Arteta.
“It wouldn’t shock me if Arsenal were willing to do the same thing as Dortmund and loan Fresneda back. Tierney wins his Premier League medal maybe and moves on.”
January Arsenal signing could push Tierney out
As Benge alluded to, Fresneda is also the subject of strong interest from German giant Borussia Dortmund.
Both they and Arsenal have reportedly struck £13.25m agreements to sign the young Spaniard, according to the Athletic.
The decision on who to join therefore rests with the player, though Fabrizio Romano reported Dortmund could swing a deal their way by offering to loan Fresneda back to Valladolid for the remainder of the season.
Tierney was a £25m signing from Celtic back in 2019 and he’s generally been a more than capable performer when playing.
However, regular injury setbacks have plagued his time at the Emirates and Zinchenko’s arrival has relegated him to a bench role.
If Fresneda can be signed in the final days of January, the chances of a Tierney exit come the summer will soar.
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