Can Bukayo Saka take the left back spot off Kieran Tierney?

Kieran Tierney is no longer a shoo-in for the left-back spot.

The current issue at Arsenal’s left-back isn’t new and the Gunners might just be facing a repeat of what happened when Hector Bellerin became the club’s first-choice right back.

Before the 2014/2015 season, Football.London recalls how Arsenal signed Mathieu Debuchy from Newcastle United to replace Bakary Sagna who had left to join Manchester City.

Debuchy struggled with injuries and his loss became Hector Bellerin’s gain as the young Spaniard seized his chance and made the right-back spot his own.

Debuchy never really got to become Arsenal’s first-choice right-back until he left the club and it seems the same pattern is repeating itself right before our eyes.

Arsenal signed Kieran Tierney over the summer as a replacement for Nacho Monreal who had left the club to return to Spain.

Tierney has struggled with injuries this season and his unavailability has forced Bukayo Saka to be converted to a left-back.

The 18 years old has been one of Arsenal’s breakout star of the season and he has been impressing in the left-back role.

Mikel Arteta has tried his best to use Sead Kolasinac in that position, but he has struggled with injuries as well.

Tierney is expected to return to first-team training soon, I don’t expect him to just walk back into the side.

The former Celtic star does seem to be injury-prone and if he is not careful he may well find that he has lost the left-back spot to Bukayo Saka permanently.

38 Comments

  1. Innit says:

    No. Tierney is a specialist LB. Saka isn’t

    1. Reggie says:

      But he might be, we don’t know.

  2. S.J says:

    No please, Saka will not end up at left back his talents are best suited on the wings, where he can take on defenders and put in good crosses and score goals too.

    His experience at left back will only improve him when he moves up to the left wing cause he can help out Tierney at left back in defending and attacking as a unit.

    Tierney will come back fit soon and Saka should be moved to left wing. We have Saka, Martinelli, Pepe and Nelson as our wingers in this team.

    1. Cuppers says:

      Totally endorse the previous comment, Saka on the left wing, Tierney at left back, mouthwatering prospect, Think also that Tierney is a much more stronger defender naturally, where as Saka is a more natural left winger.

    2. RSH says:

      LB suits him very well though. Our forward players open up space for him very easily which is why he is able to put in so many great crosses. It will be harder for him to find that space once he plays as a winger. But he seems to want to play further up and I’m sure he will be good there too.

      1. Jah son says:

        At RSH
        another thing is Aubameyang will remain on that left wing for as long as Pepe continues to impress Arteta. Fans can cry all they want Arteta is insistent on Aubameyang playing the wings so we have a 20 goal winger. Arteta himself made that clear to Auba.

  3. Sean says:

    Not if Saka doesnt sign a new deal. All being well he will and top competition for places is brilliant, with that brings the best out of players that are compteting against each other to start.

    Saka can also play ahead of Teirney on the wing which is a huge bonus and he may end up eventually playing on the LW as that is what he wants to sign a new deal and where he prefers.

    Bellerin needs competition like that on the other side and Saka is assisting alot atm so is showing them how it’s done and connot be dropped, just protected in certain games when rest is needed.

    This is all Artetas doing, Hats of to the boss. Look at the change in Ozil also along with Mustafi. Great signs that the man knows what he is doing.

  4. Mobella says:

    Bukayo is not a left back, Arteta knows this so article shouldn’t be written on the subject because we have 2 established left backs who were unfortunately injured that the boy is deputizing for. You knows this isn’t good for the boy career and good for us as the boy could seek move out of the club.

  5. RSH says:

    Seems Saka wants to be playing as a winger so I doubt he will be in the LB position next season if he stays. And if we want him to stay I assume he will want guarantees from Arteta about playing more advanced. So I don’t think Tierney has much to worry about. Hope KT will come good next season btw. His first season here has kind of been like Hazard’s at Madrid. Injuries, and never really got going because of problems within the whole club as well. I think he’d do much better now if he can get fit in the next half month or so.

  6. SAGooner says:

    Do we really want Saka to compete with Tierney for the LB position? It is fantastic that we have a backup for that position, but Saka should play left midfield in place of Xhaka and with a tall take-no-prisoners DM in the middle. The axis of Tierney, Saka and Martinelli down the left will leave the opposition in tears.

    1. Goooooooooooner says:

      Sounds like a good plan but we don’t really play a LM..

  7. Grandad says:

    Interesting idea to play Saka as a left midfielder, but with his natural speed, dribbling and crossing skills he is a natural left winger and that is where he will be most effective for the team.A left flank of Tierney and Saka is very appealing.

  8. Reggie says:

    The best left back at the club is Saka, if Tierney can take it off him, we have one hell of a left back.

    1. Reggie says:

      But to add, i don’t see it happening this season.

  9. Phil says:

    When fit, I believe Tierney will prove himself to be the best left back in the Premiere League, he is that good. Saka has exceeded everyone’s expectations as a fill-in but the boy is naturally attack minded. He is a winger and that’s where he is best suited to play.
    But no doubt we have a very good back up if needed

  10. hydrogen_afc says:

    The boy said he likes to play further up the pitch, he’s not good defensively, when we face top teams like liverpool and city with the likes of salah and mahrez, saka will be more exposed. when either or both our natural LBs are fit, I think saka would benched as he’s not a natural LB, he’ll be bullied by top wingers who are more physical than him

  11. Reggie says:

    I dont think he will at all, what ive seen of him, he is clever at winning the ball and has the pace to get back if he doesn’t. Im sorry i dont get this, he’s a winger, he is a footballer and he is playing at left back at the moment and getting rave reviews. If in the future he ends up further up the field then so be it. He is a left back at the moment and thats the job he is doing better than any of our players have and probably as good as anyone in the prem. I dont get this winger thing. Cole was a striker, Auba is a striker but both can play just as effectively in different roles and Cole was master of his trade at left back.

  12. Sue says:

    Gnabry at it again in London 👍👍

    1. ACE says:

      Wenger and Gazidis just keep on giving
      back to Arsenal. 😂😁

      And STFU Robson, dude is insufferable

    2. Reggie says:

      What a massive misjudgment that was letting that boy go. It could have saved us millions and CL place.

      1. Sue says:

        It really is gutting, Reggie.

      2. arie82 says:

        We by the far, is been force to sell gnarby when bayern want him.
        Gnarby is refuse to renew his contract, sell him or we got notting since he had 1 left year contract.
        There a lot stories about shady move bayern do over gnarby, fell free to google it.

  13. Rkw says:

    The last years of wenger regime were a disaster … got rid of quality young players like gnabry brought in xhaka and mustafi … clueless

    1. Uchman says:

      Just looking for little opportunity to get @ our greatest ever manager,Wenger signed gnabry when none of u knew him, he gave him first team opportunities as far back as 2013 wnen none of u knew him, in fact he made him our 2nd youngest debutant behind fabregas,dude was a regualar at arsenal before the mast knee ligament injury which took him out for nearly 2 years, when he came back Wenger sent him on loan to regain full fitness, because there was already a lot guys in his position,Sanchez Walcott,the ox cazorla ozil etc the loan became a nightmare because tony pulis refused to play him,Wenger recalled in January , just the way we did to nkitiah,gave him a couple of games, offered him a new contract after shining @ the Olympics dude refused and made it clear he want to go back to Germany, Bayern used weder Bremen to get their man and the rest is history, what could have Wenger done? Kidnap him? Put a gun on him to sign? Or allow him to go for free?

  14. Sue says:

    Alonso red-carded…. smacked arse look on Lampard’s face… 3-0 down… Serge masterclass…. what a night 👍

    1. S says:

      Don’t laugh.
      They’re the same club that beat Bayern IN Munich to win the big ears.
      Us?
      TEN TWO
      see ya l8r m8.

      1. Sue says:

        It’s not like I’d forgotten that! Do you honestly think they’ll go to Munich and win??

        1. S says:

          They’ll win & go out just like we used to. When Arteta started that game of course 😉

          1. Sue says:

            Can’t see them winning, S!

  15. RSH says:

    Well done, Serge! Everyone is upset he left, but I doubt he would’ve developed into the player he is now if he stayed. There was a very long period he was injured here as well, and I believe the club did try to get him to stay. I think all the fans wanted him to as well.

  16. Lenohappy says:

    Lampard love for English players will be his downfall. Barkley and Mount are championship level.

    1. Sue says:

      Barkley was really poor.

  17. gunnerforlife says:

    When fit KT should be our natural LB because he is trained and brought up to be a natural LB and he is stronger in defence than Saka. Saka is a natural left winger and he will excell in this position high up the pitch. Also when required he can play as a LB but KT/Kola should be our first choice LB’s. A left side containing KT-Saka-Auba/Martinelli would be frightening for any opposition. Up the Gunners!

  18. gunnerforlife says:

    By the way three cheers for Bayern downing the Chavs at their own ground. Six cheers for Nabri, boy we miss you!

  19. Grandad says:

    Spot on Phil.

  20. Best says:

    Firstly, I like the fact that he’s now a defensive player which will help him alot when he starts playing on either flanks. Talking about the flanks, I believe he will do incredibly well at Pope’s current position. Reason is, he’s very direct and he doesn’t give opposition’s defenders time to mark him unlike pepe. Pepe on the other hand, will do very well playing our number 10 role.
    Tierney should be the preferred left back

  21. Jaysum says:

    His place is as good, as gone. Good riddance, too slow to play LB maybe Tiernay suited for CB or back to Scotland

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