Mikel Arteta has moved to single out Kieran Tierney‘s character as one he wants to promote within his Arsenal squad, adding that he alongside both Emile Smith Rowe and Gabriel Martinelli have a special connection with the fans.
The young Scotland international has become an integral first-team player since making the switch from Celtic in 2019, and he has quickly become somewhat of a leader in the squad also.
His leadership qualities are clear for all to see when he steps foot on the pitch, and are also present in the 23 year-old’s interviews and mannerisms, and I would be shocked if he wasn’t set to take on the armband when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang relinquishes the captain’s role.
Manager Arteta has moved to praise Tierney also, claiming that he represents ‘every value’ that he wants to see from his players.
“Absolutely there is another character in this dressing room that transmits every value that I would like to transmit to the club and our fans [and it is Kieran],” Arteta told Arsenal Media.
“Again, it is young, hungry, talented, and people with huge desire and again he has all four ingredients – and he didn’t want to talk about anything other than staying here.
“He had a really, really good season after a really difficult start at the club and I really value people that when things aren’t going for them, they don’t give up. Kieran didn’t give up, he needed support and I think the club gave him a lot of support, but he was really willing to turn that situation around and prove people wrong if people were doubting him.
“That character, I think it shows on the pitch – when anything happens that is not going for us, you don’t give up, you just raise your level, try to be better and transmit that to the rest of the team so they all believe.
“Kieran has this capacity, and Emile as well, to lift the crowd with an action, Gabi Martinelli has this capacity – and this is something you either have or you don’t have.”
All three of the above alongside Bukayo Saka will surely build the core of our playing squad for the near future, and keeping that core of players should ensure our return to being a regular top four side.
Can any other Premier League side argue to have a better core of young players to build the team around?