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‘He is better than Zinchenko & Tomiyasu’: Pundit shocked by Arteta’s call on Arsenal 26-year-old

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Barry Ferguson has expressed his shock that Kieran Tierney isn’t playing for Mikel Arteta at Arsenal and has, instead, been loaned out to Real Sociedad.

The former Rangers midfielder labelled Kieran Tierney as ‘Scotland’s most important player’ and someone who is also ‘better than’ Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu, as he told Go Radio.

Despite Ferguson also adding that the Arsenal left-back has the ‘full-package’ and is a ‘leader’, Mikel Arteta still decided to loan out the player this summer.

Even added to the fact that summer signing Jurrien Timber suffered a long-term injury on the opening day of the Premier League season, Arteta was still happy for Tierney to leave.

In terms of levels, he is still playing Champions League football and for a Real Sociedad side wanting to maintain top-four football.

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But Ferguson just can’t understand Arteta’s actions towards the Scotland star, who is edging ever closer to helping his country reach Euro 2024 in Germany.

Cyprus v Scotland: Group A - UEFA EURO 2024 European Qualifiers
Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Why isn’t Tierney still playing for Arsenal?

“I would like to find out the reasons why he didn’t get a look in at Arsenal,” said Ferguson. “For me, he should be playing at Arsenal. It was a strange one.

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“But only Kieran and Arteta know the reasons why. He is a top player. In my eyes, he is Scotland’s most important player. I think he has got a bit about him. He is a leader. He has everything about him. I just like him. He brings a real presence to the Scotland team.

“I am not talking about presence, in terms of size, because he isn’t the biggest Kieran Tierney. But his all-round game is just quality.

“Every time I watched Arsenal when he wasn’t playing. I was thinking to myself ‘why?’ There must be a reason why. It’s not because of his attitude. He is better than Zinchenko and Tomiyasu. He has the full package. He has got that fiery bit about him. That’s a dying breed. He is a throwback, Kieran Tierney.

Everton FC v Arsenal FC  - Premier League
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

Tierney still needs regular starts

First and foremost, there are only two fullbacks at Arsenal who can play that inverted fullback role – Zinchenko and now the injured Timber.

Tierney’s problem is that he is an old-school fullback, so it restricts his chances of playing, especially when Zinchenko is fit and firing.

Plus, with Euro 2024 around the corner, the ex-Celtic man can’t afford to head to that tournament half-cooked in terms of game time, as this loan to La Liga guarantees that he starts far more games.

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