Virgil van Dijk backs Kieran Tierney to prove a success at Arsenal

Date published: Tuesday 30th July 2019 11:28

Virgil van Dijk is tipping his former Celtic teammate Kieran Tierney to prove a major success at Arsenal should the Gunners finalise a deal for the Scotland star.

The Gunners have enjoyed a successful, if not, at times frustrating, summer so far, with deals for Dani Ceballos and William Saliba sorted last week and a mega £72m deal for Nicolas Pepe thought to be close to completion.

But efforts to sign Tierney from Celtic have continued to fall short, with Arsenal thought to have seen three offers to bring in the Scotland star fall short, with Celtic determined to hold on to their star – or at the least, not sell him for less than their valuation.

Reports last week claimed Arsenal had seen a third bid – believed to be for £25m – rejected by Celtic for the player.

However, after it emerged that Pepe will cost Arsenal just an initial £20m up front, talk is growing that the Gunners will use the cash saved to launch an improved bid for the Scotland full-back, and Champions League winner Van Dijk – a former teammate of Tierney’s at Parkhead – believed the 22-year-old has all the qualities needed to be successful in the Premier League.

“It is not an easy step to make and you have to play well to do it but he has the qualities,” Van Dijk said when asked about whether Tierney would be a good signing for Arsenal.

“Kieran made his debut against Dundee when I was at Celtic.

“I scored a free-kick up there and then he came on and helped us get the win. You could tell he was a good player who would do well.”

The plaudits come just a day after similar words of encouragement from Van Dijk’s Liverpool teammate Andy Robertson, who also suggested the player would thrive in the Premier League.

“‘I’ve played with KT for Scotland and he’s played right back and centre back. I’ve watched him and he’s a very good footballer,” the Liverpool star told Sky Sports. “Last season he obviously had his injury problems.

“Whatever happens with KT is up to him and the people around him. He’ll make the right choice.

“He’s a Celtic boy through and through and you can’t take that away from him. Let’s see how it unfolds. Good luck to him whatever he does.”

 

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