Mikel Arteta looks set to U-turn Arsenal despite ‘phenomenal’ claim from Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson was among those to pay tribute to one of Mikel Arteta’s star men at Arsenal, but the Gunners boss appears to have turned his focus elsewhere with new additions

Mikel Arteta has spent money on strengthening his defence(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

As Mikel Arteta continues to add to his ranks at Arsenal, players signed by his predecessors are finding themselves surplus to requirements.

Granit Xhaka’s summer exit sees the number of Arsene Wenger signings in the group drop further, while Nicolas Pepe – signed by Unai Emery for a then club-record fee – appears to have no future in north London.

Arsenal signed Kieran Tierney just a week after Pepe’s arrival from Lille, with the Scottish left-back arriving in a £25m move from Celtic. The defender has won plenty of plaudits, with former Scotland boss Sir Alex Ferguson echoing Arteta’s praise, but Tierney’s importance to his side is beginning to wane.

“It’s not really up to me,” Tierney said (via athletics), is addressing his future after featuring in Arsenal’s pre-season friendly defeat to Manchester United. “I’m happy, I’m working hard every day and getting minutes. I’m just trying to do as well as I can.”

The Scotland international admitted he has not held discussions with Arteta about his next move, although the Gunners’ transfer business looks set to limit his options. Oleksandr Zinchenko was first choice at Arsenal last season, limiting Tierney to just three league starts after the World Cup break.

January signing Jakub Kiwior is another option at left-back, although the Pole is most comfortable in the middle, while there is also an option for Takehiro Tomiyasu to switch over with summer arrival Jurrien Timber competing with Ben White on the right. And while Tierney acknowledged competition for places, it appears Arteta could be ready to move on without the 26-year-old.

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Kieran Tierney featured in Arsenal’s pre-season friendly against Man United(Getty Images)

“You can’t play every single game, every single season, every single year,” Tierney continued. “I don’t expect that and I still made a lot of appearances last year. I was ready for every game and worked 100 percent. I think everyone in there would agree that I never give less than that, whether I play or not.

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