Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Ornstein Provides Injury Update On Arsenal’s Star Man: A Big Blow For Mikel Arteta?

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Jack O’Brien
A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.

According to David Ornstein of The Athletic, Arsenal are set to miss out on the services of Kieran Tierney till mid to late March. The summer signing from Celtic picked up a shoulder injury at the start of December 2019. And it is believed that he could out for a considerable amount of time. So, will that serve as a massive blow for Mikel Arteta?

Why is Tierney so important?

Tierney arrived at Arsenal in a €27m move from Celtic. Following the departure of Nacho Monreal, who returned to Spain, the Scot was considered as the ideal long-term replacement for the Spaniard. Tierney has already been rated amongst Britain’s most talented fullbacks, and with Sead Kolasinac struggling with his fitness, it seemed like a smart signing for Arsenal.

Indeed, Tierney made quite an impact during the final phase of the campaign, becoming one of the few consistent players from an Arsenal side that has broadly underperformed throughout the course of this campaign. His ability to rotate possession and maintain a perfect balance between the attack and defence will certainly be missed.

Not to mention, Tierney also made a mark with his top-notch deliveries from wide areas. That is something Arsenal will surely lack while his defensive prowess had helped the Gunners deal with wide players more effectively. And this is why the 22-year-old is such an important player for the club.

Kieran Tierney of Arsenal in action during the UEFA Europa League group F match between Arsenal FC and Standard Liege at Emirates Stadium on October 03, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

What are Arteta’s options?

Kolasinac is certainly the desired alternative for Tierney. The Bosnian international, truth be told, has performed decently whenever he has played this season. But like his Scottish teammate, he too has struggled with fitness problems, having notably made only twelve starts in the Premier League this season.

Kolasinac was struggling with a thigh injury at the start of this year. He has already missed out on games against Sheffield United and Burnley. Although he is likely to feature in the next time, he will likely take some time to reintegrate himself back to the fast-paced nature of football, after an injury layoff.

Another option is Bukayo Saka, who has produced mixed performances in the left-back slot. The youngster has the speed and tenacity to make an impression going forward. He is very good at providing the offensive support and linking up with teammates in the final third.

But, at the same time, Saka often leaves acres of space in behind the backline and sometimes, he is too lazy to close down the opposition. Not to mention, the youngster is not a machine, who can sustain the same level of aggression throughout the ninety minutes.

Hence, Tierney’s extended injury absence will undoubtedly serve as a blow for Arteta, whose misery continues after yet another draw with Burnley in the recent Premier League fixture.

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