Arsenal

Kieran Tierney sends Mikel Arteta key north London derby message amid Arsenal Zinchenko decision

Football.London

Arsenal currently sit top of the Premier League after winning six of their opening seven Premier League fixtures, one point above north London rivals Tottenham.

The Gunners enjoyed a successful pre-season tour of America which has followed straight into the new Premier League campaign, though Kieran Tierney’s preparations for the 2022/23 campaign were hampered by injury. It was a familiar story for Tierney who played minimal football ahead of the new season after suffering an injury just minutes into the north Londoners’ first pre-season game against Nurnberg.

Nuno Tavares was brought in last summer to provide cover for the Scottish left-back, but his injury struggles forced the Gunners into signing Oleksandr Zinchenko this summer, with the Ukraine international starting the season in defence. Zinchenko looks to be Mikel Arteta’s preferred option at left-back, but Tierney’s recent performances have shown he isn’t backing down from the fight with the former City man leaving the Arsenal boss with a selection dilemma ahead of the clash against Spurs.

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Scotland fans lauded Tierney for his stellar display in the 3-0 win against Ukraine during the international break, with many labelling him as a better player than Liverpool’s Andy Robertson who was absent through injury. Zinchenko was absent for the opposition as he recovers from injury, but football.london understands the 25-year-old is set to be fit for the north London derby.

The Scotland international has started in place of the injured Zinchenko in four of Arsenal’s eight fixtures this season, but despite being perceived as Arteta’s second choice Tierney’s performance during the international break has given the Gunners boss food for thought ahead of a busy period of fixtures starting with a game against Tottenham. The 25-year-old was crucial to helping the Scots keep a clean sheet whilst his individual display warranted a standing ovation from the home crowd.

Tierney was able to keep highly-rated Arsenal transfer target Mykhaylo Mudryk quiet for the majority of the game, showing little signs of rustiness despite his lack of game time. The Gunners’ left-back will likely play a key role in Scotland’s two remaining fixtures over the break, with a clash against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday ahead of a reverse fixture against Ukraine on Tuesday.

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