Tierney, who suffered a knock during pre-season, recovered just in time to make the squad for the Gunners’ Premier League opener against Crystal Palace. The 25-year-old, however, had to settle for a place on the bench for the clash on August 6, eventually coming on in the 83rd minute.
The Scottish defender has had quite a few fitness concerns since arriving at the Emirates Stadium in the summer of 2019. Tierney has just entered his fourth season with the club having made just 64 Premier League appearances out of a potential 114 in his first three campaigns.
Carragher, who was on punditry duty for Sky Sports, believes the left-back’s repeated injury issues will be a concern for Arsenal. The Englishman said (as quoted by HITC):
“Arsenal needed to strengthen at left-back because Tierney’s injuries now are becoming a problem for him and for the team.”
Overall, Tierney has played just 88 times since joining the Gunners, scoring four goals and laying out 12 assists. The Scot is a fan favorite due to his mentality and on-the-ball abilities, but will certainly need to find an answer to his injury troubles.
Oleksandr Zinchenko is expected to provide competition to Kieran Tierney for Arsenal
Mikel Arteta’s side strengthened the left side of their defense earlier this summer, signing Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City. The Ukrainian, who can also operate in midfield, started the match against Crystal Palace.
Zinchenko provided an assist for Gabriel Martinelli’s opener, in addition to looking defensively sound for much of his time on the pitch. He was replaced by Tierney in the 83rd minute.
Arsenal notably scored two minutes later through a Marc Guehi own-goal from Bukayo Saka’s cross to secure a 2-0 opening-day victory at Selhurst Park.
It is worth noting that Arteta’s side signed left-back Nuno Tavares from SL Benfica last summer in a bid to provide competition and cover for Tierney. However, Tavares was extremely inconsistent with his displays, with Arteta occasionally opting to use Granit Xhaka on the left side of the defense ahead of him.
The Portuguese defender notably left Arsenal on loan this summer, joining Ligue 1 outfit Olympique Marseille until the end of the season.