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Pat Nevin: 'Arsenal's Kieran Tierney has the quality of Van Dijk'

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

08:13 11 Aug 2019


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While Kieran Tierney is yet to make his Arsenal debut, former Scotland international Pat Nevin thinks the Gunners' new signing can have as big an impact as Virgil Van Dijk has had on English football.

Nevin was speaking to Off The Ball's Stephen Doyle after watching Arsenal's victory over Newcastle and explained that 22-year-old Tierney will have a huge effect on Unai Emery's side once he recovers from his double hernia operation.

"He is quality. He is a brilliant player", Nevin exclaimed.

Having watched Tierney develop in Scottish football dominating domestically with Celtic and also captain his country on occasion, Nevin said that the defender was already a better all-round player than Liverpool's Andrew Robertson.

"I watch Robertson at Liverpool – he is a great player. He's fantastic, but who would I have between Robertson and Tierney? I'd have Tierney without even waiting. That is taking nothing away from Robertson. Robertson is brilliant. Tierney is a better all-round player. Tierney can play left centre-back, left of a three, left-back, right-back he can play any of them and he'll play any of them brilliantly."

Nevin also compared the former Celtic man to another Liverpool star by telling the story of Virgil Van Dijk's move from Scottish football to the Premier League. Nevin explained that similarly to Van Dijk, Tierney is ready to make an impact at the top level but that people will harbour doubts because they disregard the quality of Scottish football.

"A few years ago, I talked to a number of managers in the Premier League and I said to them: 'I have a player for you just buy him now. It will cost you 11, 12 or 13 million quid.' They all looked and they all said: 'Mmm, I don't know' and I was like: 'Just buy him'.

"So Van Dijk goes to Southampton instead of going to Chelsea where I thought he should go or Man United. I couldn't believe it it's staring you in the face. Every Celtic fan knew fine well how good he was.

"Tierney is the same; he is that quality. He's got a long and fabulous career [ahead of him].

"The biggest downside is for the Celtic fans. They will miss him massively. £25 million, when he goes next time it will be well over double that so that's a shame but that's not Celtic's fault."

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Andrew Robertson Arsenal Celtic Kieran Tierney Liverpool Virgil Van Dijk

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