Arsenal are understood to be in contract talks with their ‘best player’ after he was tipped by his former manager to be an ideal fit at Man City.
Arsenal are in desperate need of positive news after an underwhelming campaign gave their fans little to cheer about. Mikel Arteta is set to be given time to turn their ship around. But doing so is not likely to be a quick fix. One rare bright spark over the last 12 months has been the continued development of left-back Kieran Tierney.
The ex-Celtic full-back struggled with injury during his first campaign at the Emirates.
His most recent season was disrupted at times. But when fit, Tierney showed his class when controlling the left flank by himself in similar fashion to fellow Scot Andy Robertson. Due to the contrasting fortunes of Tierney and Arsenal, one pundit backed him to wreak havoc and push for an exit this summer.
Tierney is expected to return for Friday’s Euro 2020 clash with England after missing their opener against Czech Republic. That will give Tierney a chance to impress on the highest stage. And that is where former boss Neil Lennon believes Tierney belongs.
Writing in his column for the Times, Lennon described the full-back as “Arsenal’s best player”. Furthermore, he suggested he would be an ideal buy for Man City to mesh with Pep Guardiola’s free-flowing style.
“When I had him at Celtic, Kieran was really confused about what to do in terms of leaving because the club meant so much to him,” wrote Lennon.
“Ambition and finances meant he made the right call for his career. For me, he’s Arsenal’s best player. I could see him going to Manchester City, he’s got all the tools to play for them.
“He’s maybe not got the all-rounded left foot that Andy [Robertson] has, that natural whip, but he’s got everything else and he sees things. He’s so athletic and powerful.”
Losing Tierney would constitute a disaster for Arsenal. The Gunners are very much aware of that possibility, and per Football London, have made initial overtures regarding a new contract.
Tierney’s current deal doesn’t expire until 2024. Nevertheless, they report that ‘talks are now underway for a contract extension.’
Neville aghast by Arsenal target’s display
Meanwhile, Gary Neville delivered his verdict on Arsenal and Leeds left-back target Patrick van Aanholt following the Netherlands’ 3-2 win over Ukraine on Sunday evening.
The Dutch looked to have blown a 2-0 lead when they were pegged back in their Euro 2020 opener. However, Everton target Denzel Dumfries powered home a late header to give them all three points in Amsterdam.
Crystal Palace defender van Aanholt started the game, but was hauled off in the 64th minute. And it’s fair to say that Neville does not rate him.
“He’s wrong side. It’s typical of Van Aanholt. He’s a poor defender,” Neville said in ITV Sport’s coverage, in the build-up to Andriy Yarmolenko’s run into the Dutch area.