Arsenal’s transfer business has picked up steam in the last few days with the arrivals of William Saliba and Dani Ceballos from St. Etienne and Real Madrid respectively. Although Saliba was loaned back to St. Etienne, signing him on a permanent deal is a shrewd piece of business as the 18-year-old is one of the most promising young defenders in Europe.
Ceballos, on loan, is another useful signing as he can fill the void left by Aaron Ramsey’s departure. The Gunners have reportedly stumped out £15 million from their transfer budget to beat the likes of Tottenham to capture Ceballos' signature.
The Gunners have now turned their attentions towards signing a left-back, with a deal for Celtic’s Kieran Tierney reportedly close to completion. Celtic have so far rejected three bids for their left-back from the Gunners, with only a few million pounds the difference between Celtic's valuation and Arsenal's offer.
With interest from Napoli and Arsenal’s limited budget proving to be stumbling blocks, here are the three reasons why the Gunners should go all out for the youngster.
The Scottish Premier League is known as one of the most physically demanding leagues in the world yet Tierney wins 60% of his challenges. Clearly, the fullback seems more than ready to embrace the physical nature of the Premier League.
The Scot is an aggressive tackler, who knows when to tackle. Averaging 3.3 tackles per game while conceding 0.6 fouls, the youngster is efficient when it comes to winning the ball cleanly.
Scott Brown, the Celtic captain, once called him “hard as nails”. Further, Tierney uses his searing pace to stop the opponents on the counter-attack.
Tierney is a modern fullback who likes to bomb down the wing or carry the ball into the opposition half himself. With his blistering pace and bottomless energy, the young Scot likes to contribute in attack and possesses a keen eye for a pass in the final third.
His 8.38 passes per game in the final third demonstrates how useful Tierney is to the attack.
The Scot’s superb pace on the overlap is a vital asset to any team, as he delivers dangerous crosses into the opposition box for the strikers. He delivers an astounding 4.1 crosses per 90 minutes, which is significantly more than Sead Kolasinac’s output (2.1 crosses per 90 minutes).
Unai Emery’s first season as the head coach of Arsenal has seen him use different formations. Systems such as 3-4-3 and 4-3-3 were used to exploit the talents of Arsenal’s two marquee centre-forwards together and negate the weaknesses of the left-backs.
Sead Kolasinac is a limited defender, with his contribution to attack covering up for his limitations on the defensive side of the game. He is an adept wing-back who isn’t suited to playing in a back four. Meanwhile Nacho Monreal’s fitness issues have made him an option at the heart of the defense rather than as the full-back.
Tierney will be an outstanding addition to the Gunners’ backline as he possesses the required intelligence and work rate to play as a wing-back and a left-back, depending on the formation.Published 27 Jul 2019, 19:13 IST