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  • By Alessandro Schiavone

Ex-Arsenal legend Pires: Tierney's the best left back in the league

By Alessandro Schiavone

Ex-Arsenal winger Robert Pires reckons is Kieran Tierney as one of the best left-backs in the Premier League.

Tierney’s arrival from Celtic in 2019 was largely eclipsed by the big-money acquisition of Lille hotshot Nicolas Pepe a couple of days previously, yet the Scot has scaled some remarkable heights at the club, making the left-back position his and consistently giving his opposite numbers at right back a run for their money whenever they face.

The 23-year old’s attacking impetus, coupled with his resolute defensive displays, have now earned him the accolades of Gunners legend Pires whose distinguished career in North London saw him lift two league titles between 2000 and 2006.

And if his recent immaculate performances are anything to go by, the north Londoners have some player on their hands according to Pires.

The Frenchman said: “Arsenal’s recruitment team did a great job signing him.

He is young and has a lot of room for improvement and will still progress. I am not sure if he is already one of the best left-backs in the world but being one of the best in the Premier League is already not bad.

“You can see the complicity between him, Bukayo Saka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out on the left. That’s why I consider Tierney to be one of the best left-backs in the Premier League today.”

When asked why Arsenal no longer match their player’s burgeoning reputation as one of the league’s most decorated teams and what he reckons triggered the downward spiral, the 47-year old said:

“I think Arsenal’s decline coincided with [former chairman] David Dein’s departure. It has been tough for the club ever since he left [in 2007], especially the way the club is run.

"He and Wenger were the cornerstone of Arsenal and for Wenger it became really complicated to lead the club [into a new era] by himself and without the presence of Mister Dein.

“If we look at the statistics the club hasn’t progressed since Arsène Wenger departed. It pains me to say so because it’s Arsenal, it’s my club but it’s imperative that the club plays in the Champions League each season and this is not the case anymore today, but I am very optimistic for the future.

“I think Man Utd should be Arsenal’s benchmark because they were in a similar predicament but things are finally looking up again for them. I really believe in Arsenal and I am pinning my hopes on Edu and Arteta to get this club back into the big time.”


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