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Arsenal fan favourite Kieran Tierney has said he welcomes the challenge Oleksandr Zinchenko will provide.
Coming from serial winners, the 25-year-old brings a winning mentality sorely missed around the Emirates, on top of his high levels of technical security.
A move for the versatile fullback was prompted in part due to the unreliability of Tierney in relation to his injuries.
From the Scotsman’s perspective, he wasn’t told of the incoming signing, but showed little sign of being deterred by the arrival. When asked if Arteta had informed him of his plans, the former Celtic man said:
“No, but I'm not surprised because I've never had that.
"At a club like Arsenal, you need competition.
“For where we want to go, you need at least two players for each position. He is a great signing.”
Such words are an apt representation of the man, who has shown a willingness to battle throughout his career, at sometimes to the detriment of his own body.
Some players would cower away when faced with the prospect of challenging a four-time Premier League winner for their spot, not Tierney:
“Genuinely, I love it. I love being up against it. I'm coming back from injury.
"I know I'll need to work my way back. But I'm ready.”
That level of competition is a necessity for any team wanting to challenge for the top titles, the ultimate endgame for this Gunners side.
Arsenal’s season collapsed in the absence of the Scotsman last season (alongside untimely injuries to Takehiro Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey), so to have apt replacements that sustain the technical level of the team is key.
Tierney will be hoping to make the Gunners squad for Crystal Palace tonight, having trained with the full squad yesterday.
However, all indications point towards Zinchenko starting the game, meaning the Arsenal no.3 will have to fight hard to reclaim his spot from the Ukrainian.
There’s no worries about that though, Tierney has regularly shown himself to be up to the fight, and this fight could define the Gunners’ season.
For more information about tonight’s match against Crystal Palace, click here.
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