Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that Kieran Tierney has a different injury than the ones he has suffered from in the past.
The Scottish defender has missed the Gunners’ last four games in all competitions due to injury problems and it looks like he is unlikely to be fit for the North London side’s next Premier League game against Aston Villa at Villa Park on Saturday.
Tierney has been one of Arsenal’s standout players this season and his absence is being felt by Arteta’s side as he is one of the team’s most important creative outlets in addition to being part of a defensive unit that has kept the Gunners solid at the back.
This season, the 23-year-old has scored one goal and provided three assists in 23 appearances across all competitions. In recent games, Cedric Soares has filled in for the Scotland international and done an admirable job but Arteta will be hoping Tierney regains his fitness very soon.
On whether he’s having to manage Tierney carefully, Arteta said:
“No, it’s a different injury in this case. Kieran is a player that really pushes himself and he has to be able to perform physically at his best because he cannot help himself. Even in training he can’t help himself. We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible, and we are here to support him as much as we can.”
On whether he’s concerned about Tierney playing for Scotland soon, he said:
“No, what I want is that he’s fit to play for us as soon as possible, then if he’s fit and he’s ready to represent his country, there we go, it’s one of his dreams and he needs to fulfil that. But what I want is for him to play for Arsenal.”
The Gunners were keen on signing a backup left back in the January transfer window and were linked with Southampton’s Ryan Bertrand, Crystal Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt and Hibernian’s Josh Doig. It is understood that the North London club contacted Barcelona about signing Junior Firpo on loan but a move did not materialise.
On whether he wanted to sign a left back in the January transfer window, Arteta said:
“We cannot do everything. As I mentioned before, there are so many things that we had to do in this transfer window and we had to focus on the priorities for that. We almost did everything we wanted to do and there are things to do, but when you talk about the squad evolution, it’s going to take time and a big effort. Things have to happen your way as well and that’s not the case all the time.”