Arsenal suffer massive blow as extent of knee injury to Kieran Tierney confirmed
Arsenal have taken a second body blow in the last 24-hours when it was revealed today that key left-back Kieran Tierney will miss the remainder of the 2021-22 Premier League season.
The Gunners were left reeling after a heavy 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park last night and were truly put to the sword by Patrick Vieira’s Eagles, in a performance that did not feature Tierney after he had returned from international duty with Scotland with knee trouble. Now, as confirmed by The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Tierney is set for surgery that will keep him out of contention during the critical bookend of the season with Champions League implications for Arsenal.
🚨 EXCL: Kieran Tierney to have surgery later this week on knee injury, ruling him out for several months. Will miss remainder of Premier League season & potentially Scotland’s #Qatar2022 qualifying play-off vs Ukraine proposed for June @TheAthleticUK #AFC https://t.co/9UehZm7bO8
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) April 5, 2022
Tierney is set for knee surgery later this week which is guaranteed to keep him out for several months, including not only the remainder of the club programme, but could also strip Scotland boss Steve Clarke of one of his most-prized assets as they look to negotiate their World Cup qualifying playoff against Ukraine that is currently slated for June.
As things stand, that would mean that summer signing Nuno Tavares is in line to deputize for Tierney at left-back for the remainder of the season in a development that could have massive tactical implications for Arsenal as they are in the thick of the fight for fourth place.
Poor timing for growing injury concerns at Arsenal
The loss of Kieran Tierney is not the only potential injury concern that boss Mikel Arteta may have to contend with after the Spanish headmaster sounded alarm bells around the status of key midfielder Thomas Partey.
Partey was taken off in the 74th-minute against Palace last night and when pressed for details, Arteta commented that “I don’t know. He felt something in the same area he got injured previously, so a big concern.”
The loss of both key assets at Arsenal could potentially be catastrophic given their options behind them coming in the vein of young duo Nuno Tavares and Sambi Lokonga who, though bright talents, are not at the level of influence and consistency of their more veteran counterparts.
Additionally, the continued absence of Takehiro Tomiyasu – who is expected to not return until after the Southampton clash – could eventually mean that Cédric Soares could be preferred at left-back over Tavares once the Japanese international is back to full fitness. Regardless of what option(s) Arteta could turn to, it could be a real turning point for the Gunners.