Mikel Arteta raves about 25-year-old player Arsenal reportedly could sell
Mikel Arteta has been asked about Kieran Tierney ahead of Arsenal’s return to Europa League action against Sporting tonight.
The Northern Echo report that there is an acceptance amongst the Arsenal hierarchy that he is unhappy over his game-time this season.
They say he is Newcastle’s number one left-back target in the event he is allowed to leave when the summer transfer window opens.
At his press conference ahead of the game, Arteta took a question about how Tierney has reacted to being out of the side largely lately, with Alex Zinchenko preferred.
Mikel Arteta hails Kieran Tierney before Sporting tie amid Arsenal exit rumours
He replied: “Very good because we talked and we discussed the situation and we had a very similar opinion about that.
“He knows his role – under me he’s played a lot, more than any other player probably compared to the previous players at the club in the last three years.
“He understands the situation and he needs to challenge the situation.”
The gauntlet has been thrown down to the 25-year-old to force his way back into Arteta’s plans and he will hope European football can provide those chances.
Speaking in a YouTube video filmed from Arsenal’s training ground, Goal journalist, Charles Watts said that Tierney missed a training session this week due to illness and won’t play tonight.
He said: “Kieran Tierney wasn’t involved in training today and he won’t be flying with the squad. It’s not due to injury, it’s due to illness I’m told.
“It’s a blow to him because this is a game we expected Tierney would have started.”
Tierney will hope to return for the second leg and that the Gunners can go deep into European competition, as it likely represents his best chances of games between now and the end of the season.