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Forgotten Arsenal star says Arteta was '100 per cent correct' in axing him

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KIERAN TIERNEY has claimed that Mikel Arteta was right to take him out of the first team fold at Arsenal.

The Scot has been on loan with Real Sociedad this season after falling down the pecking order in north London last term.

Kieran Tierney has said he hold no ill will towards Mikel Arteta for dropping him at Arsenal

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Kieran Tierney has said he hold no ill will towards Mikel Arteta for dropping him at ArsenalCredit: Getty
Tierney has spent the season on loan at Real Sociedad

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Tierney has spent the season on loan at Real SociedadCredit: Getty

Tierney, who signed for Arsenal in 2019 for £25m, was a regular feature for the Gunners in his first few seasons, but lost his place in the starting XI last season when Oleksandr Zinchenko stepped up.

And the 26-year-old now has a tough task to earn that spot back with Takehiro Tomiyasu, Jakub Kiwior and Jurrien Timber all also able to play at left-back.

The tough competition has meant the former Celtic defender understands that he may have played his last game for the Gunners despite being set to return to the Emirates when his loan expires this summer.

Speaking to The Athletic, he said: “Look at the squad depth in that position now. They have Zinchenko, Timber, Tomiyasu, Kiwior. Four players can play there.

“So if I go back and it’s the same as before then I’m not silly, I know the chances are I’ll be leaving.

“But you never know in football. You get the rare case with [William] Saliba.

“Where he came back after a couple of good seasons [out on loan] but you don’t see it too often with someone who has played for four years, left, and then come back to play again.”

And despite admitting that he is likely having to close the book on his Arsenal career, Tierney explained that he completely understands Arteta’s decision to drop him to the bench.

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He added: “There are no hard feelings or spite from me. I understand the decision of the manager to change me from No.1 to No.2. It’s football.

“It never happened in a personal way. It was tactical. He thought it was best to get Arsenal results.

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“And he was 100 per cent correct, when you look at it. They were close to winning the league last year, and this year I think they’ll do it.”

Injuries have hampered Tierney’s time at Sociedad with the Scotland international managing only 16 appearances in La Liga this season.

His future is still up in the air with Newcastle one of a few Premier League clubs who have been linked with signing him on a permanent basis this summer.

Mikel Arteta’s striker shopping list

By Jordan Davies

ARSENAL are stepping up plans to sign a world-class striker in the summer after their Champions League heartbreak.

Mikel Arteta splashed out £204.5m last summer on Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and Jurrien Timber.

But the Spanish manager accepts he needs a proven goalscorer to take the club to the next level.

And here are the players he is looking at to get the Gunners firing:

BENJAMIN SESKO (RB Leipzig, value £40m-£45m)

One for the future at 20 years old. Scored 16 goals for RB Salzburg in the Austrian Bundesliga last season and the Slovenian has carried on that good form in Germany with Leipzig this campaign.

VIKTOR GYOKERES (Sporting Lisbon, value £60m-£80m)

Been scouted several times this season. The Swedish striker, 25, is more of a traditional No 9 so may not suit Arsenal’s demand for flexibility but would bring a physicality that boss Mikel Arteta craves.

ALEXANDER ISAK (Newcastle, value £75m-£85m)

Impressed in his first two seasons in English football. The Swede, 24, has the pace and finesse to match his finishing ability, and Eddie Howe’s Toon may need to sell to balance the books this summer.

JOSHUA ZIRKZEE (Bologna, value £45m-£50m)

Dutch wonder  is attracting the attentions of clubs across Europe. At 6ft 4in the 22-year-old forward would have no trouble adapting to the Premier League and already has an eye for goal.

XAVI SIMONS (RB Leipzig, value £70m-£80m)

An incredible talent in the Bukayo Saka mould, currently on loan from Paris Saint-Germain. The future of the Dutch attacker, 20, depends on how much money his parent club want to make from him.

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