Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney has the potential to follow in the footsteps of club greats such as Nigel Winterburn and Ashley Cole, according to Alan Smith.
Tierney, who moved to Arsenal from Celtic in the summer, has been slow to get his Gunners career going due to injury but was impressive in Thursday night’s 4-0 hammering of Standard Liege in the Europa League.
The Scotsman is yet to make his Premier League debut for Unai Emery’s side, but speaking to the Evening Standard, former Arsenal attacker Smith is more than convinced by what he has seen from him so far.
“I’ve got to mention Kieran Tierney’s contribution [against Liege] because the way he has performed in his first two appearances for Arsenal suggest the left-back is capable of following in the footsteps of greats like Kenny Sansom, Nigel Winterburn and Ashley Cole,” the 56-year-old said.
“Swift, skilful and tough, the young Scotsman’s crossing ability especially appeals. For any striker, it’s very handy to know when the ball is coming in so you can make your run with real confidence. Tierney doesn’t mess about.
“A sharp shift and whip has become a trademark already. It reminded me of the wonderful service provided by Brian Marwood in our 1988-89 title-winning season.”
“Brian didn’t always feel the need to beat his man. He’d chop the ball inside before curling in a beauty, a move that created lots of goals that year for Arsenal’s No.9. And similar service from Tierney wouldn’t have escaped [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang’s attention.”
Arsenal return to Premier League action on Sunday when they host Bournemouth at the Emirates Stadium.