The reviews from north of the border were glowing, but until the restart, Arsenal fans had not really been given enough of a real indication of why so many Scots rate Kieran Tierney so highly – and why the £25million paid for the left-back last summer was such a bargain.
Injuries have severely hindered Tierney in his first season at the Emirates Stadium and so it’s only since the resumption of the season that the 23-year-old has been able to showcase his ability, getting a prolonged run in the Arsenal team for the first time under Mikel Arteta.
There is a debate over who Arteta should play at left-back, with Bukayo Saka also impressing in the position, but the Spanish coach should at least now be aware of Tierney’s potential and appears to have found a system which gets the best out of both players. The Scotland international was a relative snip at just £25m and there’s reason to believe the Gunners should look north of the border once again this summer.
At a time when true transfer market bargains have become increasingly difficult to find, Scotland remains one of the last talent pools in the game still to be fully explored. The country has provided a springboard to the likes of Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Moussa Dembele and John McGinn in recent years, with Tierney also adding his name to that list.
Odsonne Edouard, for one, would be a shrewd addition for the Gunners and football.london understands the Gunnershave scouted him extensively ahead of a transfer window in which he could act as a potential replacement for either Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette.
The 22-year-old has flourished at Celtic since joining from Paris Saint-Germain three years ago, scoring 22 times in 27 Scottish Premiership appearances this season.
Edouard could replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang or Alexandre Lacazette at Arsenal
Signed as the natural successor to Dembele when he left for Lyon, Edouard might actually surpass his countryman, with many believing the 22-year-old to be the player with the greater potential. Edouard has improved with every season he has played, impressing at Europa League level, and possessing the quality that all great scorers have, the ability to slow down his game in front of goal. One-on-ones are his speciality.
Edouard isn’t the only Celtic player who would broaden Arsenal’s options. Kristoffer Ajer is also highly rated within Scottish football circles, with the Norwegian already an experienced operator despite still being only 22. Ajer has been a first-team figure at Celtic since the age of 17 and that has given him a maturity beyond his years.
This season has seen the young centre back stagnate in his development somewhat, but there is a suspicion that Ajer might just need a new challenge to push him on again. Comparisons have been drawn with Van Dijk due to the Norwegian’s height and imposing frame, with the 22-year-old also exceptional with…