Forgotten Arsenal star tells Mikel Arteta he won’t return to solve key problem | Football

Mikel Arteta wants to sign a new left-back in the January transfer window for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Kieran Tierney has ruled out the possibility of returning to Arsenal in January to solve an increasingly pressing problem for Mikel Arteta.

The Gunners suffered damaging defeats over the festive period against West Ham and Fulham which have raised fresh doubts over their title-winning credentials.

Arsenal’s rise to the summit had been underpinned by their defensive solidity, which had compensated for their reduced potency in attack.

The form of Oleksandr Zinchenko has, however, deteriorated in recent weeks and he was at fault for Mohamed Salah’s equaliser in the recent 1-1 draw at Anfield.

He subsequently turned in a sub-par display against the Hammers and missed the defeat at Craven Cottage through injury.

The former Manchester City star is expected to be fit to feature in Sunday’s heavyweight FA Cup third round tie against Liverpool, which will represent a welcome boost for Arteta given Takehiro Tomiyasu has now linked up with the Japan squad ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup.

Jakub Kiwior has deputised at left-back at times this season but he has failed to convince in that role, while Jurrien Timber, who is capable of playing in that position is still recovering from the injury he picked up on the opening day of the campaign.

Kieran Tierney is currently on loan at Real Sociedad from Arsenal

Kieran Tierney is currently on loan at Real Sociedad from Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

Tierney, meanwhile, had been a mainstay of Arteta’s early Arsenal incarnations and had been primed for a role in the club’s leadership group.

A succession of injuries stunted his progress and he was ultimately deemed surplus to requirements in the summer and was loaned out to Real Sociedad.

The Scotland international’s stint in the Basque Country has been hindered by a hamstring strain but the 26-year-old insists that although his relationship with Arteta remains intact, he has no intention of returning north London this month to help his parent club.

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‘Several people have already asked me if I was going to return to Arsenal now and the answer is no. I’m going to stay here for sure,’ he said.

‘As for staying here longer, the decision is not mine. But the only thing I can say is that I love playing for Real. And I’m enjoying it very much.

‘Everything is fine with him [Mikel Arteta]. Last year I didn’t play and spent a lot of time on the bench. But this is football, I have no problem with it. I had almost no injuries, I played about 30 games, many coming off the bench, but I felt fine.

‘Everyone knows that the Premier League has much more money. All clubs competing in that league can buy footballers for 30 million Euros. That’s the big difference. But when it comes to quality, I don’t think agree about the difference between the leagues, I think La Liga has extraordinary footballers.

‘The atmosphere here is incredible. In England, there are also very good atmospheres and I don’t want to speak badly about the Premier League because it is a great league, the fans are great.

‘But if people saw La Liga more they would realise that it is an incredible tournament and so are the fans. If you go to play against Osasuna, you see their fans cheering like crazy. Or in Cadiz. And when we play at home, the fans behind the goals don’t stop singing…it’s great.’


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