Kieran Tierney looks finally set to make his long-awaited Premier League debut for Arsenal, following his £25m summer move from Celtic.
The left-back has been eased back into the fold following a hernia operation, and is expected to start against Sheffield United on Monday.
Tierney made his first appearance for the club against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup, but a
Scotland manager Steve Clarke understood why Arsenal were so reluctant to release the 22-year-old, and cooperated with the club over the injury.
“Arsenal have indicated to us that they’d prefer us not to select him at this moment in time because he’d only played 70-odd minutes of football,” he said. “You have to respect the club’s decision on that. I’d like to get Kieran in the squad and have him as part of the group but at this moment in time it’s more important that he gets minutes on the pitch and gets himself back to full speed.”
However, Tierney is now all set to start the next Premier League game for Arsenal at Bramall Lane, after making a closed door appearance against Reading during the international break.
Mesut Ozil, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin were also all involved in the 2-2 draw against the Royals, with players short of match practice building up fitness in these games.
Tierney’s return will be a timely one, as Arsenal are in desperate need of defensive solidity and pace in wide areas, and the Scotland international will be looking to provide both in abundance.
Bellerin has been helping Tierney settle in at the club, and the duo could help Arsenal become a quicker and more aggressive side again.