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Kieran Tierney’s Man City absence to provide Gabriel Magalhaes another test to excel at Arsenal

Upon returning to Premier League action next week, Mikel Arteta will face the tough challenge of replacing Kieran Tierney.

The Scot is set to miss Arsenal’s trip to Manchester City next Saturday [October 17] as he is required to self-isolate for 14 days [as of October 6]. Despite testing negative for COVID-19 on several occasions, the left-back spent a brief period of time playing video games with Scotland team-mate, Stuart Armstrong, who tested positive – while maintaining social distancing.

“I’m so disappointed and frustrated to be in this situation. I have adhered to all regulations and made sure I was socially distancing from my team mates in the hotel. I’ve also tested negative,” Tierney said after the news was made public .

“I know Arsenal and the SFA are now in discussions with the Scottish authorities to gain a further understanding.”

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Injured when Arteta arrived as then-head coach in December, Tierney had to wait until June to make his first appearance under the Spaniard. Since then, he has been nothing short of impressive, playing as a left-back, left wing-back, but most commonly as a left-sided centre-back in a back three.

Having played in that role for Celtic and Scotland before moving south last summer, the Scot has excelled since having those demands put on him by Arteta. From that position, he is crucial to Arsenal’s build-up play against a press, offers support both out wide and in central areas further forward, but also remains composed in defence.

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