Kieran Tierney has a fantastic reading of the game and he’ll help Arsenal to finish in the top four, according to his former international boss Gordon Strachan.
Strachan managed Tierney as Scotland manager, giving the left-back his first international cap. Tierney won eight trophies and three PFA Player of the Year awards with Celtic during a hugely successful spell in Scotland before leaving for Arsenal this summer.
It should come as no surprise that Strachan has a lot of praise for the player, one of the top prospects in his home country.
“Kieran is seriously a wonderful kid and his understanding of danger is magnificent,” Strachan said. “He reminds me of Van Dijk in that way. The first time I watched Virgil and Kieran play, I thought, ‘Are you lucky, or are you brilliant at reading the game?’.
“I’d love to see some analysis on how many times he intercepts or clears the ball in the box. He thinks like a forward, so he understands what they’re going to do.”
Tierney will hope he can win lots of trophies and play on the biggest stages with Arsenal, but the short-term goal is just to get back into the Champions League.
With the Gunners falling short in the Europa League at the semi-final and final stages over the last two seasons, it’s clear they can’t rely on that method of qualification.
Instead, it’s vital they return to the top four of the Premier League. Strachan thinks Tierney will help them achieve that.
“He’ll certainly help Arsenal get to the top four,” Strachan continued. “He’s more than just a good player — he has incredible spirit, strength, ability, and versatility, he’s perfect for Arsenal.
“He mostly played at left-back or wing-back for Celtic. But he can also play just as well at left centre-back or on the left of a three.”
Arsenal fans will hope Tierney can live up to the high expectations set by those that have watched and worked with the player before, but let’s take things step-by-step. We haven’t even seen the left-back make his Premier League debut yet.