Martin Keown fears Arteta 'doesn't believe' in £110k-a-week Arsenal star
Arsenal legend Martin Keown has speculated that there might be a “problem brewing” with Kieran Tierney at the club.
The £25million signing is a fan favourite at the Emirates Stadium thanks to his talent, amazing attitude and down-to-earth demeanour.
Indeed, Tierney has often been one of the first names on the Arsenal team sheet – but now, he’s found himself out of the starting XI.
Nuno Tavares has deputised superbly for the £110,000-a-week full-back and, despite being fit and available again, the Scot has been dropped to the bench.
Tierney has been an unused substitute for Arsenal’s last four Premier League games, something which would’ve previously been unthinkable.
And while Tavares has done well, Keown is concerned about how the 24-year-old is now being kept out of the starting line-up.
Arsenal ace Tierney a “real quality player”
The Highbury icon, speaking on talkSPORT (3/12/21, 11am), also speculated that Tierney isn’t the kind of player who would “stick around” if he’s not playing.
“I don’t know,” Keown replied when asked why Tierney appears to have fallen out of favour. “I think that’s a mystery.
“Tavares has done exceptionally well. Maybe the manager doesn’t believe in Tierney as much as we might believe in him.
“(Tavares) made a few mistakes at Anfield and the manager said ‘I’m not gonna drop him’. I think there’s a problem brewing with Tierney.
“He’s a real quality player, he’s a leader, the type of defender the Arsenal fans have wanted for years and now he’s not in the team.
“He’s not been near to coming on in any of the games (recently), he’s got to keep his head down, keep working and not become a problem for the manager.
“He doesn’t strike me as the sort of lad who’s going to stick around if he doesn’t get a game of football.”
While Tierney’s quality is such that he’d be a starter in most teams around the world, he’s also a consummate professional.
It’s hard to imagine him having fallouts with a manager, so it may well just be that Arteta is rewarding Tavares with an extended run in the team.
Given how much of a disaster it used to be in the past when Tierney couldn’t play, it’s a welcome selection headache for Arteta.