Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney has been told that he needs to “get on with it” while he continues to barely feature for the Premier League leaders.
The Gunners paid around £25m to sign the defender from Celtic in 2019. He was initially a key player for the Premier League side but he has been plagued by injuries over the past couple of seasons.
Tierney has been left down the pecking order this term as Mikel Arteta has often preferred summer signing Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back.
The Scotsman has only started four Premier League games this term. His last outing as a starter in the league came back in December against West Ham.
His lack of game time in recent months has fuelled talk that he could leave Arsenal this summer. Newcastle United are among the clubs being linked with the 25-year-old.
Recent reports have indicated that Tierney will be valued at £40-50m when the summer transfer window opens later this year.
Steve Clarke has been Scotland’s manager since 2019 so he knows Tierney well. He thinks the full-back “has to knuckle down and get on with it”.
“I’ve spoken to Kieran recently and he is handling the situation well. He understands why he is not getting so many minutes. He just has to knuckle down and get on with it. You have to be a good professional and work as hard as you can,” Clarke said (via Football London).
“His club are flying at the top of the league so, while it’s not great that he is not playing, he can take some comfort from the fact the team are playing well.”
Clarke adds Tierney also needs to “see what the summer brings” amid suggestions that he is likely to exit Arsenal.
“Kieran is probably in a slightly different position. He is certainly good enough to play at the highest level in the Premier League. So I think he should knuckle down, see this season out like the good professional he is and see what the summer brings,” Clarke added.
“So I can pass that on to people like Kieran now and give them the benefit of my experience. I just changed within myself. I realised I wasn’t going anywhere. I had to knuckle down and get back in the team – and that’s what I did. I ended up with a pretty decent career as a result.
“I now have all those experiences to take with me. You try to impart that knowledge to players who are experiencing something similar, if not the same situation. You say ‘look I made an arse of myself there, just be careful what you are doing, do the right thing’.”
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