Kieran Tierney sends Arsenal warning to Bukayo Saka
Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney is confident that he can win his place back in Mikel Arteta's team once he's recovered from injury
Kieran Tierney says he is taking steps to ensure that he is ready to claim back his spot in the Arsenal team once the defender has recovered from injury.
The Scotland international has experienced a stop-start first season at The Emirates after he was signed by Mikel Arteta’s predecessor Unai Emery from Celtic last summer.
Tierney has struggled to hold down a regular starting spot in the Arsenal team under Emery due to a string of injury problems that have haltered his progress in the Premier League.
The Scottish defender hasn’t played for Arsenal since he suffered an injury in a 3-1 loss to West Ham United at the London Stadium back in December before Arteta’s appointment.
Saka, who is usually a more forward-thinking player, has impressed in an unorthodox left-back role in Tierney’s absence.
The Arsenal youth graduate has started 11 of their last 12 games, providing a threat from the wing with his creative ability.
However, Tierney is remaining up to date on Arteta’s philosophies and style of play as the Scottish defender looks to win back his starting spot from Saka.
“There is always ways you can improve yourself although it’s not on the pitch or with the ball, you are still improving yourself and your physique and every day you are injured,” Tierney told SPORTbible as quoted by the Daily Express.
“You are improving your mentality as well.
“I’ll be watching who is playing in my position, who I’d be playing against and how the team are playing so when I do get integrated back into training games it’s like second nature.
“I know the way the team play, how they want to play and how the manager wants to do his things.
“It’s never ideal sitting on the sideline watching but I just want the team to win and be successful.
“Everybody loves going out and playing football but to be mentally tough and to deal with all these obstacles and hurdles that people throw at you, it’s the hardest part but when you get to the other side it’s the most rewarding part.”
Tierney moved to Arsenal in a £25m deal from Celtic last summer following months of transfer speculation.
The Scottish left-back has made just nine appearances in all competitions since his move.