Kieran Tierney’s absence in the clash with Crystal Palace was such a huge blow to Arsenal. It was unsurprising that both the opening goals took advantage of the Gunners’ vulnerable left flank and the deputising Nuno Tavares.
Tierney has had far from his best season in an Arsenal shirt, however, his inability to attend could prove pivotal in the top four race which is a testament to his importance. Based upon Monday night, it is almost a guarantee.
Only recently was Tierney being linked with a move away from the club. Reports emerged from The Sunday Post that claims that Real Madrid chief scout Juni Calafat sent back a glowing report of the Scot.
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Calafat had been tasked with watching Bukayo Saka, however, he was so impressed with Tierney that he returned with a complimentary take for Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian’s involvement is significant considering he was keen on Tierney when Napoli head coach.
El Espanol via The Scotsman claim that Tierney would demand a figure in the region of £ 50 million. This is hardly surprising considering he has just signed a new contract with Arsenal.
Howeverfootball.london understands that Tierney is fully committed to Arsenal and has no intention to leave the club. Real Madrid and Barcelona are both keeping tabs on the player, however.
The issue for Arsenal is that now they have a player valued at £ 50 million who will not be available for the rest of the season. The knee injury suffered whilst on international duty will mean the Gunners have just Nuno Tavares for now as an orthodox option.
It is when considering this that perhaps Arsenal look to a potential left-back signing and become more open to Tierney’s departure. This is obviously something fans may be quite surprised to read but, bluntly, Tierney is proving to have major injury issues consistently every season.
Should Arsenal have these ambitions to play in the Champions League and press for titles, having competent cover and competition in every role will be imperative. Tavares has a huge question mark hanging over him.
There are plenty of exciting full-backs impressing elsewhere that could be considered. David Raum of Hoffenheim has proven to be of a level that a call-up to the German national side has been awarded. The 23-year-old has three goals and nine assists so far this Bundesliga season.
Tavares’ former superior option Alex Grimaldo of Benfica has six goals and eight assists from the left-back position and could be a potential candidate. Within the club, Lino Sousa has also shown real promise in the under 23s despite his young age of 17.
The potential to earn £ 50 million from the sale of a player who cannot guarantee availability throughout the course of a season to reinvest in a player who could potentially offer as much, maybe more, is something the club should at least consider. It will not be a popular view, but one which is worth raising.