Unai Emery has explained why Kieran Tierney didn’t play against Manchester United on Monday, adding that the left-back is in line to feature against Standard Liege.
After an excellent debut appearance for Arsenal against Nottingham Forest last week, Kieran Tierney was left out of the weekend’s u23 match against Liverpool, despite Hector Bellerin starting in it.
This led many fans to believe Tierney would be involved against Manchester United, but he wasn’t, causing some confusion. Unai Emery clarified in his press conference on Wednesday (via Football.London) that this was due to a minor fitness problem.
“He didn’t play in Manchester because he had a small problem, not important, but the doctor told us it was important for him to be here with us, preparing for tomorrow,” Emery revealed.
Those worrying about a major setback can remain calm though. Arsenal have a game against Standard Liege on Thursday, and Emery says Tierney is set to be involved in the match.
“He needs time, confidence, training and playing,” Emery continued. “Tomorrow is a good opportunity, he is ready to play. He will take minutes and confidence. He will be able with us to show his progress.
“I asked Kieran yesterday because we were waiting first for him to be with us consistently. Each step is important to be consistent.”
Hector Bellerin and Rob Holding are also both expected to start the match, as they recover from their ACL injuries.
Arsenal decided to pull Tierney out of Scotland international duty as a precaution, as they don’t feel he’s quite ready for a full international break yet. That led to fears of a setback, but it seems that’s not the case.
The trio of defenders could help transform Arsenal’s backline over the coming weeks, so hopefully, they all come through Thursday’s game without any problems.