Kieran Tierney Leaves on Loan

Kieran Tierney has joined La Liga side Real Sociedad on loan for the remainder of the 2023/24 season. The deal does not include either a purchase option or obligation. The Spanish side have confirmed that they will be paying Arsenal an undisclosed loan fee, and will also cover the Scotland international’s salary for the season.

Tierney was one of many players thought to be leaving this summer. At the tail-end of last season, Tierney had a number of suitors including Newcastle United. However, after the Magpies completed the signing of Chelsea’s Lewis Hall, Tierney fell by the wayside, with Arsenal reportedly asking for a fee in excess of £35m.

Tierney has had a very unfortunate time of things over the past 12 months or so. The arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko saw him miss out on his usual place in the starting XI and relegated to the bench, making only fleeting league apperances, and appearing in the Europa League and cup matches.

The arrival this summer of Ajax’s Jurriën Timber looked to be the final nail in the coffin for the defender. Timber’s subsequent injury shows little sign of the club letting up, with Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu being deployed at fullback ahead of him in the recent 0-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Arsenal were keen for Tierney to leave this summer. Though the club values the defender very highly, and though he is an immensley popular player both within and outside the club, the fullback’s inability to “invert” has meant that Arsenal have needed to look beyond the £25m man.

Initially signed from Scottish side Celtic, Tierney looked to be a breath of fresh air at the club. While Unai Emery’s side came under fire for their poor performances, Tierney consistently stood out from the crowd.

Indeed, when Mikel Arteta eventually took over, Tierney was one of the Spaniard’s most trusted lieutenants.

However, injuries have been a constant problem for Tierney. While many have been reoccurring injuries or impact injuries, Tierney has found much of his consistent game time cut short by spells on the sidelines.

Tierney is the first in a long list of players expected to leave the club in the next few days before the transfer window closes. Folarian Balogun is expected to complete an eye-watering £38m move to AS Monaco, while the futures of Nuno Tavares, Nicolas Pépé and Albert Sambi Lokonga are still yet to be resolved.

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