Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing a summer move for Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney, with the Scotsman facing an uncertain future at the Emirates Stadium after sliding down the pecking order.
What’s the latest on Tierney to Newcastle?
That’s according to journalist Sam Dean, who wrote on Twitter: “Newcastle are understood to be plotting a move for Kieran Tierney this summer. Eddie Howe is a long-time admirer of the Scotland international. Tierney will have three years remaining on his contract so he will be expensive, if AFC are willing to sell him.”
In the attached piece for the Telegraph, the report suggests that Magpies boss Eddie Howe is a ‘long-term admirer’ of the 25-year-old, with a new left-back addition said to be one of the Tynesiders’ ‘transfer priorities’ ahead of next season.
As Dean alluded to, any deal will likely not come cheap if the Gunners are to sanction a sale, with the former Celtic man – who arrived in England on a £25m deal back in 2019 – potentially set to cost in excess of £30m.
Who is Kieran Tierney similar to?
While Tierney is currently playing second fiddle to Oleksandr Zinchenko in north London – having started just four Premier League games this season – the 35-cap international would still seemingly represent a real coup for Newcastle if sporting director Dan Ashworth can get a deal over the line.
Hailed as an “unbelievable professional” by his former Hoops boss Ronny Deila, the Isle of Man-born machine would offer a real relentless and tenacious presence on the left side of the defence, having also been described as a “warrior” and a “leader” by ex-England international Ashley Cole.
The £110k-per-week dynamo is also able to offer real quality in an attacking sense as he ranks in the top 7% among his European peers for progressive passes and the top 9% for progressive carries, having also previously provided 37 assists in 170 games in all competitions during his time in Scotland.
While the 5 foot 10 ace has struggled to replicate those feats for the Gunners – with just 13 assists to his name in 113 outings to date – a consistent run in the side at St James’ Park could well be what is needed to revive his fortunes.
Howe and co should also be encouraged by Tierney’s apparent likeness to compatriot Andy Roberton, as per FBref, with the pair said to share a number of stylistic and statistical similarities in their full-back berths.
That comparison is indicated by the fact that Robertson also ranks highly for both progressive passes (top 13%) and progressive carries (top 22%), with the Liverpool man having routinely delivered the goods down the flanks for Jurgen Klopp’s side, racking up 55 Premier League assists to date – the most of any defender in the competition’s history.
To be able to land their own version of the Anfield hero in the form of Tierney – who has actually been described as the “better all-round player of the two” by pundit Pat Nevin – would allow the Magpies to make another step forward in their bid to challenge for major honours in the coming years.