Micah Richards agrees with Jose Mourinho about Arsenal’s Kieran Tierney after Man City defeat


Arsenal suffered their third defeat in their last four Premier League outings on Sunday afternoon, going down 1-0 at home to runaway Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling’s 13th goal of the season after just two minutes was enough to seal all three points for City, sealing an 18th consecutive win in all competitions in the process.

Despite falling behind so early on, Arsenal did not show any real signs of a collapse, but they offered very little threat in the final third at the same time, meaning Pep Guardiola’s side escaped north London with three points and a clean sheet in tow.

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But whilst the Gunners’ performance was not one that their supporters are likely to watch back in years to come, one of the biggest positives of the afternoon was seeing left-back Kieran Tierney back in Premier League action.

The Scotland international, who has been one of the Gunners’ most influential players this term, featured in the league for the first time since the 3-0 win over Newcastle United in mid-January.

The former Celtic man had made his return to action in midweek, stepping off the bench during the second half of Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with Benfica, meaning manager Mikel Arteta felt he was fit enough to start.

Although the left-back, like his team-mates, struggled to contain City’s blistering start in the opening exchanges, Tierney did grow into the contest and proved to be one of Arsenal’s most adventurous outlets in the final third, finding himself on the receiving end of 11 passes by the half time whistle.

He was constantly trying to exploit the space that had been left vacant by City’s Joao Cancelo down Arsenal’s left flank, but it was to no avail, as Arsenal failed to impose themselves in the final third.

Whilst Tierney did have plenty to contend with defensively, he did see some joy in an attacking sense, offering Arteta encouragement that his return from injury will give Arsenal the lift they are in need of.

Ahead of kick-off at the Emirates Stadium, Sky Sports pundit Micah Richards waxed lyrical about the Scotland international’s credentials, describing him as “one of the very best full-backs” that the Premier League has to offer.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Richards said: “He’s got absolutely everything. There is full-backs nowadays that can defend and there is ones that can attack.

“Kieran Tierney, I still believe, is one of the best full-backs in the Premier League, just because he can do both and he’s played, sometimes where Arsenal have been struggling, sometimes that’s when you see how good a player is.

“When Arsenal were struggling, he was always their best player.

“He came in for £25million – I think that’s an absolute snip.

“I watched him in Scotland and a lot of people thought he could do it at this level, and he’s right up there with the top full-backs in the league.”

Richards is not the first person to have heaped praise on Tierney’s qualities, with fellow Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp and former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer having spoke very highly of him already this season.

Another big-name to have waxed lyrical about the Gunners defender is Tottenham Hotspur head coach Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese chief, prior to being appointed by Spurs, spent some time working as a pundit for Sky Sports and he tipped Tierney to be a roaring success in an Arsenal shirt back in 2019.

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“Tierney is like a young Nacho Monreal. He is the same kind of profile,” Mourinho admitted. “He’s reliable, looks a good character, looks a great personality.

“He looks a little like someone from a previous generation in some aspects.

“He has a humble way of behaving and I like his profile.”

This season, Tierney, who was born on the Isle of Man, has racked up 25 appearances for the Gunners, scoring one goal and registering three assists.





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