Mikel Arteta says that helping Kieran Tierney adjust to Arsenal’s life has been a “pleasure” as Scotland continues to receive rave reviews internationally. The 23-year-old moved from Celtic to the Emirates Stadium last summer but his first season in the Premier League had been plagued by injury.
Since sustaining a dislocated shoulder, he did not feature under Arteta until after the restart and has since flourished playing in a three-man defense either as a wing-back or as a center-back on the left.
He’s almost certain to start the north London derby at Tottenham on Sunday as Arsenal both looks forward to staying ahead of their neighbors and keeping on track European qualification hopes.
Tierney’s praise was heaped by fans and pundits alike, while Arteta revealed the defender’s approach to adapting his approach to English football has made it even easier.
Arteta said: “I’m highly impressed with him. Just how he behaved and worked on his recovery. Everyone in the club loves him and it’s not an accident, he deserves it every single day: the way he treats people, the way he works around, the energy he brings to the venue. I ‘m pleased then with his performances. He’s very, really well adjusted. He’s a player who gives you all in every session and every game and the consistency he’s adding. You happily support him with enjoyment because of what he brings, how willing he is to work, develop, and give the team its best.”
Before joining Everton in 2005, Arteta has spent two seasons at Rangers. He had described the biggest discrepancies between playing in Scotland and the south of the border and thinks Tierney has coped well with the changes.
The feeling is mutual, as Tierney hailed Arteta as “brilliant” after Tuesday’s 1-1 draw at home to Leicester. The Foxes had been linked to a summer surprise move full-back, but Arteta insisted when asked about the rumors, ‘he’s not going anywhere.’
Tierney is likely to line up on Arsenal’s side for his first taste of injuring a north London derby in September when the sides drew 2-2.
At Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, Arteta’s youthful-looking side has evolved in recent weeks and he’s backed them to cope with the first derby.