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Jurrien Timber could save Kieran Tierney's Arsenal career as Mikel Arteta finds new defensive solution

Jurrien Timber could save Kieran Tierney's Arsenal career as Mikel Arteta finds new defensive solution

Tierney has been heavily rumoured with a move away from the Emirates.

Jurrien Timber could play a major role in Keiran Tierney's future at Arsenal following Mikel Arteta's defensive tactics against the MLS All-stars.

The Gunners got their pre-season tour of the United States underway in style, cruising to a 5-0 victory over the best of the MLS on Friday evening.

Goals from Gabriel Jesus, Leandro Trossard, Jorginho, Gabriel Martinelli and new boy Kai Havertz demonstrated the wide range of goalscoring prowess across the park.

But it was Tierney's positioning that caught the eye, leaving spectators seriously impressed by his performance.

The Scotsman has been heavily rumoured with a move away from north London this summer, after losing his place in the side to Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Newcastle are reportedly chasing his signature, while Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has not ruled out a move for Tierney, according to The Metro.

However, the 26-year-old could still have a future at Arsenal, so long as Timber is in the side.

How Timber could save Tierney's Arsenal career

Both Timber and Tierney were thrown into the action shortly after the hour-mark and impressed during their 25-minute cameos.

Tierney was deployed as a natural left-back - a position in which he thrives, allowing him the freedom to bomb forward and make overlapping runs with the left-winger.

Meanwhile, Timber played as an inverted right-back, similar to how Zinchenko normally plays on the left-hand side.

It would seem that Arteta is keen for at least one of his full-backs to step inside and play the inverted role, with the other hugging the touchline, much like Ben White did last term.

Therefore, if Timber is chosen to play right-back regularly, Arteta may prefer to use Tierney on the other flank, meaning he may not be sold this summer after all.

Speaking on Timber's performance after the game, Arteta praised the 22-year-old's versatility and ability to invert.

“I think you’ve seen tonight that he’s a really versatile player, you can see him defend in those positions," the Gunners boss said (quotes via Football Daily).

"He gives you the capacity to invert, to occupy different spaces. He’s so comfortable on the ball in that phase & he’s also got this aggression in the duels & that dynamism that I really like about him.

“You saw from the first action, he went & won the ball straight away on the duel & he was ready to go. He’s been like that in the last few days - he’s playing really well with the team & I think he’s going to be a really important player for us.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Jurrien Timber, Arsenal, Kieran Tierney, Mikel Arteta, Premier League, Football