Sir Kenny Dalglish insists Kieran Tierney has “a chance” to revive his Arsenal career, but says he may need to drop another player after falling behind left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Tierney has started in just four of Arsenal’s 28 league games this season, playing as a stand-in for former Manchester City defender Zinchenko for most of the season.
Given his lack of playing time at the Emirates, ex-Celtic star Tierney has been linked with a departure from Arsenal ahead of this summer’s transfer window, with Newcastle United reportedly keen to secure his services.
Scottish legend Dalglish believes Tierney will “respect” the situation and has urged his compatriot to “take up the challenge” to regain his place in the team.
“Kieran was initially left out because he was injured and the player who filled in for him did well,” Dalglish told the Sunday Post.
Mikel Arteta probably chose Zinchenko because he wants Arsenal to play in the same way as Manchester City, with the full-backs on the inside rather than the outside.
Zinchenko was taught that way at City, so he’s used to it. Not Kiran. That’s not to say that Kieran has gone down as a player. It’s just that someone else was a little better.
“He will respect where he is and he will respect the boy who stepped in when he got injured and was one step ahead of him. He would expect that he would too.
“We saw what Kieran can do in the minutes he scored against Crystal Palace last week.
“Now he’s with Scotland and it’s a great opportunity for him to make a difference for Arsenal.”
The former Scotland, Liverpool and Celtic striker added: “Tierney has shown he can play where he is needed for Scotland and now he faces a similar challenge with his club.
Take the challenge and see if he can come back as a left back. If he doesn’t get a place there, he’ll have to see if he can knock someone out up front – left of midfield or wherever possible.”
While Tierney may be disappointed with his playing time at Arsenal, he could end the season with a Premier League winners’ medal.
The Gunners are eight points ahead of Manchester City in preparation for the Premier League, but have yet to play against the holders and Anfield later in the season.
“Kieran still has a chance at Arsenal because to be successful you need a really good team,” said Dalglish.
“Arsenal are in the position where everyone would like to be, five points clear at the top of the table.
“They have yet to play against Man City and they have to come to Anfield, so it’s not done yet, but they are where you want to be.”
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