Mikel Arteta gives Kieran Tierney injury update and explains why Arsenal didn’t sign a left-back

Mikel Arteta gives worrying Kieran Tierney injury update
The Scottish defender could be sidelined for some time with his latest niggle (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta has suggested Kieran Tierney’s latest injury could make him a doubt for March’s international fixtures and has defended Arsenal’s failure to sign a new backup left-back.

The 23-year-old has missed the Gunners’ last three Premier League matches though did return to training last week and Arteta had been optimistic that he would be involved again soon, though his tone appeared to change at his latest press conference.

Tierney has a different injury and Arsenal are working hard to get him fit again, but Arteta has doubts over whether he will be able to play for Scotland in their World Cup qualifiers which are seven weeks away.

Kieran Tierney Arsenal v Newcastle United - Premier League
Tierney has performed excellently this season for Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)

Asked whether Tierney needs to be managed carefully at his pre-match press conference before facing Aston Villa at the weekend, Arteta said: ‘No, it’s a different injury in this case.

‘Kieran is a player that really pushes himself and he has to be able to perform physically at his best because he cannot help himself. Even in training he can’t help himself.

‘We are trying to manage him in the best possible way and find every possibility to give him the best chance to be fit as soon as possible, and we are here to support him as much as we can.’

On whether his potential involvement for Scotland is a concern, Arteta continued: ‘No, what I want is that he’s fit to play for us as soon as possible.

‘Then if he’s fit and he’s ready to represent his country, there we go, it’s one of his dreams and he needs to fulfil that. But what I want is for him to play for Arsenal.’

With regular backup left-back Sead Kolasinac having been offloaded to Schalke in January, right-back Cedric Soares has been filling in on the opposite flank in the absence of Tierney and Arteta say Arsenal simply ran out of time to sort out all the issues in the squad.

Mikel Arteta Arsenal Training Session
Arteta would have liked to sign a new backup left-back in January (Picture: Getty)

After being linked with Ryan Bertrand and Patrick van Aanholt, Arteta was asked if he had wanted to sign a new left-back and explained: ‘We cannot do everything.

‘As I mentioned before, there are so many things that we had to do in this transfer window and we had to focus on the priorities for that.

‘We almost did everything we wanted to do and there are things to do, but when you talk about the squad evolution, it’s going to take time and a big effort. Things have to happen your way as well and that’s not the case all the time.’

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