Tag Archives: Kieran Tierney

Emery should resist temptation to play returning pair against Man U

On Monday Arsenal face Manchester United away. It is a game that would solidify Arsenal’s top 3 intentions if they win; or plunge us back into depression if we lose.

Following their good performance against Nottingham Forest, there have been plenty of calls from fans to put Rob Holding and Kieran Tierney into the starting XI for the key game against Man U. Emery should not bow down to the pressure.

Tuesday’s 5-0 victory over Nottingham Forest was Rob Holding’s 1st senior game since December 2018.

Holding suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee on during a 2–2 draw against Manchester United nearly a year ago.

Likewise Tierney has spent 4 months out following a hernia injury, which subsequently required surgery for.

Both players are top young talents and will be mainstays in the Arsenal first team, so it is important that Emery looks at the bigger picture.

All being well, this season Arsenal will play around 50 games. There is a lot of football to come.

To cope with the work load, Emery needs to rotate his squad and ensure players do not pick up long the term injuries that hampered the clubs top 4 and Europa league challenge last season. It is also important that he manages the work load of returning players so that they immediately break down once more.

Both Holding and Tierney performed brilliantly against Nottingham Forest, but a Premier League game against Manchester United would be a huge step up; and one which might be a step up too soon.

What makes more sense is to leave both with the “mid-week squad” in the short term.

Next Thursday we play Standard Liege at home. It would make more sense to play Holding and Tierney in that game, continuing their rehabilitation at a lower level, than put them into a big game at Old Trafford.

It might be seen as some as a bit of a risk not to play both against Man U, but looking at the bigger picture it makes a lot of sense.

Following the game against Liege, Arsenal face Bournemouth. Once again Emery should not be tempted to put Tierney and Holding in.

After Bournemouth, we have an international break, with our 1st game back against Sheffield United on Monday 21st October. That is nearly a month away.

This should be the game that Holding and Tierney are slated in for a Premier League return.

The Sheffield United fixture is over 3 weeks away. By that point both players would have had a months full team training under their belt, as well as 2 senior games. They will be ready for Premier League football.

Putting them in against Manchester United would be short sighted. It would be playing the strongest XI at the risk of one of the 2 suffering another injury – which is likely for players returning from long term problems.

Not playing the pair against Man U means that come Sheffield United, both (and Hector Bellerin) are fit and strong and ready to go for the rest of the season. A sacrifice in the short term to see the benefit in the long term.

I am excited to see Holding, Bellerin and Tierney play together. They will be 3 of the back 4 for at least the next 5 years. But to ensure we get the best out of them for the next decade, it is important that we keep their recoveries from long term injuries slow and do not rush them back.

Keenos

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The clock is ticking: Umtiti, Rugani, Upamecano and Tierney

Thursday 8th August
17:00 BST

That is when the English transfer window slams shut, and Arsenal still have plenty of business to be done.

It seems every day we are linked with a different central defender. You only have to look at what is trending on Twitter to see the “name of the day”.

Everyone got a little excited over Daniele Rugani earlier last week – the Italian was linked with a 2 year loan deal with an obligation to buy after it.

The deal actually made a lot of sense.

Arsenal would be getting a 25-year-old defender who, whilst his career has stalled at Juventus – would be the best centre back at the club. Rugani would be able to come straight in and partner Sokratis, and be a long turn partner for William Saliba.

Only a small loan fee would need to be paid upfront, with Arsenal not having to pay a transfer fee for another 2 years.

Reports this morning were that Wolves were making a £30million bid for him. Should Arsenal match it and go out and sign him outright?

Next up it was Samuel Umtiti.

Frenchman Umtiti has been many Arsenal fans preferred option all summer. A left sided centre back with power and pace. But he also has knee problems.

A deal would have been easier to make had Barcelona rather than Juventus signed Matthijs de Ligt. As it stands Barcelona have just 4 senior backs – Gerard Pique, Clément Lenglet, Samuel Umtiti and 19-year-old Jean-Clair Todibo.

I would be very surprised if Barcelona let Umtiti leave.

Then yesterday we had the news that Arsenal had bid £55million for Dayot Upamecano, the 20-year-old RB Leipzig central defender.

Despite being just 20, the French defender has a wealth of experience both domestically and in the Champions League.

The news, 1st reported by Bild, came out of nowhere. And if true shows that Arsenal still have plenty available to spend.

If we were able to bid £55million for Upamecano, a permanent deal for Rugani might be able to be done.

And then we have Kieran Tierney.

The trail seems to have gone cold on the Scottish left-back; especially after news that he had suffered a set back following his double hernia operation.

Unlikely to be back fit until October, you have to wonder if the club is thinking “we will come back next year” and have put the money set aside for him into the pot to buy a new centre back.

I have always said that buying a strong left sided centre back is perhaps more important than buying a replacement for Saed Kolasinac.

A big move for someone like Upamecano this summer and then going back for Tierney next summer makes a lot of sense.

Regardless of what business Arsenal do in the next 2 and a half days, people will moan.

Keenos

Not many left…

Arsenal have 6 days to sign 3 players

The 2019 summer transfer window slams at 17:00 BST on 8 August. That leaves just 6 days for Arsenal to complete their transfer business.

After a slow start with just Brazilian youngster Gabriel Martinelli joining the club at the beginning of the month, Arsenal announced the double move of Dani Ceballos and William Saliba towards the end of July. Ceballos on loan from Real Madrid, with Saliba remaining on loan at St Etienne.

As July turned to August everything went a little bit mental and Arsenal broke their transfer record signing Nicolas Pepe for £72million, dispelling the media lies around the club having just £40million to spend.

The signing of Pepe showed that form is temporary, class is permanent and players would rather join a big club not in the Champions League over a small club in Europe’s premier competition.

It has been a decent window for the club so far, but we still need to make a couple more transfers. If we get those right it could become one of Arsenal’s best transfer windows in a decade.

We have been heavily linked with Kieran Tierney over this summer and it is clear that he is the clubs premier choice to be 1st choice left back. It is a deal we need to push over the line.

Central defence is also a glaring concern.

It was the defence that let Arsenal down last season and was the primary reason why we are not in the Champions League.

With Laurent Koscielny unlikely to ever play for the club again and Shkodran Mustasfi being offered around Europe, a new central defender is surely on the cusp of coming in?

In recent days both Samuel Umtiti and Daniel Rugani have been linked.

Arsenal are also short in midfield, especially if the club decide to cash in on Mo Elneny.

The Egyptian leaving would leave us with just Granit Xhaka, Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock in midfield.

It would only take a couple of injuries or suspensions to see us line up with the 2 teenagers. Clearly we would need to sign a senior pro to replace Elneny. Khedira?

On a side note, we are reportedly in the market for a youthful 3rd choice goal keeper.

Left back
Centre back
Central midfielder

We have 6 days to get them.

Keenos

Less than 30 left – Will never be reproduced