Barry Ferguson claims Kieran Tierney is better than Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu

Barry Ferguson has claimed that Kieran Tierney is better than some of Arsenal’s current defenders and feels baffled by their decision to part ways.

Barry Ferguson has described Kieran Tierney as ‘Scotland’s best player,’ and he is right because the defender has been a solid performer for the national side. For Arsenal, too, he has been a consistent presence. But stylistic requirements had pushed the left back away from Mikel Arteta’s plans.

Arteta would have happily kept him at the club but seemingly respected the player’s desire to play regularly, which looked difficult at Arsenal. Tierney would have given the Gunners some much-needed depth, especially after summer signing Jurrien Timber suffered a potentially season-ending injury.

Tierney did play plenty of football during pre-season. But Arteta did not name him in the matchday squads for the first three games. Before the fourth fixture, he was off to Real Sociedad, joining the Spanish side on a season-long loan deal.

The move has baffled many, considering Arsenal lack a bit of depth at the back, and Tierney’s presence would have helped them during the season. Yet, Arteta felt he had the personnel to go through the campaign until January.

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One pundit who still seems puzzled by Arteta’s decision to allow Tierney to leave is Barry Ferguson. He claimed Tierney was a better player than current Arsenal defenders Oleksandr Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu, as Ferguson’s comments appeared on HITC.

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

Ferguson’s argument has plenty of valid points. But Tierney had started to fade away from Arteta’s system from a stylistic standpoint last season. The Arsenal boss did afford plenty of opportunity and coached the left-back to play the inverted role, which he did without much success.

With the likes of Zinchenko and Tomiyasu featuring, the primary objective is to gain more control on the pitch. Tierney remains one of the top-rated left-backs on the continent, but he does not allow Arsenal to assert dominance and still plays wonderfully in his role. Hence, a loan move to Real Sociedad made plenty of sense for all parties concerned.

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