Kieran Tierney addresses Arsenal future and relationship with Mikel Arteta | Football

Mikel Arteta in conversation with Kieran Tierney (Picture: Getty)

Kieran Tierney has conceded that he has likely played his last game for Arsenal but said he had no hard feelings towards manager Mikel Arteta.

Tierney joined Arsenal for £25million in the summer of 2019, four months prior to the appointment of Arteta.

The left-back was a regular during the Spaniard’s early years in north London but fell out of favour last season after the signing of Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Now out on loan at Spanish side Real Sociedad, the Scot will return in the summer with a host of players ahead of him in the pecking order, with Jakub Kiwior, Jurrien Timber and Takehiro Tomiyasu all showcasing their ability to deputise at left-back this season.

And the 26-year-old admitted that such competition for places could mean he is forced to find a new home over the summer.

When asked by the Athletic if he’s played his last game for Arsenal, Tierney said: ‘There is every chance.

‘Look at the squad depth in that position now. They have Zinchenko, Timber, Tomiyasu, Kiwior. Four players can play there.

 Kieran Tierney of Real Sociedad looks on during the Copa Del Rey Round of 16 match between CA Osasuna and Real Sociedad at Estadio El Sadar

Tierney has been on loan at Spanish club Real Sociedad this season (Picture: Getty)

‘So if I go back and it’s the same as before then I’m not silly, I know the chances are I’ll be leaving.

‘But you never know in football. You get the rare case with [William] Saliba, where he came back after a couple of good seasons [out on loan] but you don’t see it too often with someone who has played for four years, left, and then come back to play again.

‘Stranger things have happened. I could go back and there is a place for me. So I’m prepared for both.’

However, Tierney pushed back on any suggestions of bad blood between himself and Arteta, insisting he understood the manager’s decision to demote him to second choice.

‘There are no hard feelings or spite from me,” he said. ‘I understand the decision of the manager to change me from No1 to No2. It’s football.

‘It never happened in a personal way. It was tactical. He thought it was best to get Arsenal results — and he was 100 per cent correct, when you look at it. They were close to winning the league last year, and this year I think they’ll do it.’

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