Kieran Tierney has admitted that his start to life as an Arsenal player has been far from ideal
The former Celtic defender joined the Gunners in the summer after years of success in Scotland. He was earmarked to be one of the players that sparked Arsenal’s revival, but he has hardly been there for the team.
He has suffered a succession of injuries in his debut campaign and he has admitted that his time at the Emirates has been frustrating.
“The night at West Ham away was a hard night for me. I knew I had dislocated my shoulder in the first 10, 15 minutes and straight away you know what you’ve done,” he told SPORTbible as quoted in FourFourTwo.
“Then another 10 minutes, I did the same kind of thing. I landed differently. It was a set-piece and my arm just went into a position that wasn’t comfortable at all and dislocated.
“It was heartbreaking because in my head I knew I needed an operation. Three times in 30 minutes, nobody’s shoulder should be going like that.
“So in my head, I was like ‘that’s me out for another few months’. You know that and you know the devastation straight away. You can see it on my face.
“Being injured at the start of my Arsenal career was hard. Mentally, it was probably the toughest time of my life.
“Keeping myself motivated and energised, for me, is quite easy because I’ve got great people around me. I’ve got my family, my friends and everybody I need.
“I will go work hard every single day for myself, for the club, for my family.
“The mental side of the game is probably the most important. Everybody loves going out and playing football but to be mentally tough and deal with all these obstacles and people throw at you, it’s the hardest part. But when you get to the other side, it’s the most rewarding.”
In his absence, Arsenal tried Sead Kolasinac, however, the Bosnian has been injured as well and young Bukayo Saka has made the left-back spot his.
The England teenager has started as a left-back in 11 of Arsenal’s last 12 league games.
Mikel Arteta would be happy that Tierney is back, but he now faces a dilemma over who should become his starting left-back.
Arsenal will also have to decide if they want to buy a new left-back or if they will keep Saka as yet another defender.