Brendan Rodgers has been talking up the attributes of a player he knows very well indeed, the former Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney. It wasn’t all that long ago that Arsenal fans were filling social media with digs towards Celtic Fans that we’d have to get real about the valuation of a home grown academy player who had only ever played in the Scottish pub league.
No way were they going to pay anywhere near the £25million – which was the sum that would trigger a transfer. When Celtic held firm the same fans thought that they’ been had and were using the transfer as a sign of the wasteful nature of their club in transfer dealings. The same fan were also raving at the same time about the great £75m signing of a winger from French football – how did that one turn out?
Rodgers reckons that Tierney has already done more than enough to win the Arsenal fans over. In fact he probably regarded as their best and most important player these days. £25m you say? A flaming bargain we say and told the Arsenal doubters at the time!
“Arsenal fans are beginning to regard Kieran as a cult figure, 100 per cent. He’s frightened of no one, KT has absolutely no fear, it’s how he plays and trains, and it reflects what he is on the field,” Brendan Rodgers said as reported by Scottish Sun. “He’s a brilliant young player who did incredibly well for me at Celtic, so it’s no surprise to me once he adapted to living away from his family and friends, he would succeed down at Arsenal.
“When I arrived at Celtic I saw this tenacious young player who played like a supporter on the field. He would give his life for the club. The thing I loved about the Scottish players is their competitive nature. Their spirit is strong and Kieran was super-competitive every day beside guys like Scott Brown, Callum McGregor and Stuart Armstrong,” the Leicester City boss said.
“When I first went to Celtic, there was already talk of Arsenal wanting him, even putting a bid in for him. In my first week, I remember turning to Peter Lawwell and saying: ‘If we could tie this boy up, it would be amazing,’ because he was such a talent.
“Kieran was outstanding for me, and he was true to the game. He wanted to be a real professional. He never had it all his own way, he wasn’t picked for Scotland’s youth teams, others were picked ahead of him. But he showed character and persistence to keep going, until he eventually got into the team and stayed in it.
“You look at his body now and compare it to how it was when I was at Celtic with him. That tells you everything about how hard he has worked and what a special player he is.”
Rodgers reckons that his former left back at Celtic is destined to be made the captain of Arsenal. “You see the qualities he brings to their team, the honesty he brings,” Rodgers said. “Every day KT will be at their training ground at London Colney for three hours being the best he can.
“He doesn’t waste his time doing stupid things, he’ll go back afterwards, rest, sleep, and live a quiet life to be the best footballer he can.
“I saw his goal against Benfica — a brilliant strike. He scored a number of goals like that for me from even further out. Kieran will become a great ambassador for Arsenal, on and off the pitch.”