Martin Odegaard discusses Arsenal’s season so far
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Former Arsenal and Manchester City defender Bacary Sagna has told Kieran Tierney that he must work hard to regain his spot in Mikel Arteta’s starting eleven. The arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko over the summer has seen him forced to have to settle for playing second fiddle at the Emirates Stadium.
Zinchenko was purchased before the start of the season to provide cover in both left-back and central midfield, arriving from City in a deal worth £32million. Having worked under Arteta previously, the Ukraine international slotted straight into his plans and added leadership and quality in the dressing room.
However, that has come at the expense of Tierney – who was considered an option for club captaincy previously. The Scotland international has started just four Premier League matches so far this season, coming off of the bench on 10 occasions, and found himself featuring regularly in cup competitions as a rotational option.
But Sagna believes that the 25-year-old should remain with Arsenal and use the arrival of Zinchenko to push him to improve. He told Midnite: “Kieran Tierney should not leave Arsenal, it’s a long project.
“I was in the same situation at Man City when I joined, I was benched more than what I was used to. I took it as a challenge, from the second year I was the most used player alongside Nicholas Otamendi.
“Tierney needs to fight for his position, he should take the Oleksandr Zinchenko signing in a good way because it will make him work harder and make him better. Life is full of challenges and Tierney is facing one now.
“He’s still young and one of the best in the league, and probably the world in the future if he continues to work hard. Zinchenko brings something different and is a top professional.”
It remains to be seen whether Arteta decides to move Zinchenko into midfield more frequently in the second half of the season to provide Tierney with opportunities in left back, or whether the former Celtic star is forced to simply sit and suffer on the bench.
Nuno Tavares is expected to return from his loan spell at Marseille at the end of the season, which will provide Arteta with another option to consider.
Real Madrid were previously cited as being interested in Tierney and they could reignite their interest in the defender if they notice that he is becoming undervalued at the Emirates Stadium, with questions being raised of Ferland Mendy this season.
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