Football News

Kieran Tierney is better defensively than Andy Robertson, says John Hartson

By Steve Jennings

Published: 12:55, 10 October 2019

Former Arsenal striker John Hartson believes Kieran Tierney is a “better defensive player” than Liverpool’s Andy Robertson.

Robertson has emerged as one of Europe’s best left-backs since moving to Liverpool, while Tierney left Celtic for Arsenal in the summer.

How has Tierney started at Arsenal? Five things to know…

  • Tierney arrived at Arsenal in the summer with an injury.
  • The Scotland international is yet to play in the Premier League for his new club.
  • But he impressed against Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup on his debut.
  • He followed that up with an assist against Standard Liege in the Europa League.
  • Tierney could make his Premier League debut against Sheffield United after the international break.

The defenders are in direct competition while playing for their clubs, but they are also competing for the same spot in the Scotland national team.

And while Robertson has proven himself to be a fine attacking player, Hartson believes Tierney has his countryman beat when it comes to the defensive side of the game.

“People talk about Andy Robertson. I would say at this moment in time he has a better delivery but Kieran is a better defensive player,” Hartson said.

“Kieran gets low and defends well and he can also play as wing-back if needed. I watched Robertson when he was playing for Dundee United when I was covering the game and he was good.

“He went down to Hull and his career fizzled out there but Liverpool took him for £10m and now he is on fire.

“He (Tierney) made his second start on Thursday in a team that is trying to do something. I think Emery is trying to build something special.”

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“Arsenal on the right track for top four”

Tierney is yet to make a Premier League appearance having arrived at Arsenal with an injury, but the 22-year-old impressed against Standard Liege in the Europa League last week.

And after a busy summer for Arsenal, Hartson believes his former club could take advantage of problems at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur to seal a spot in the top four.

He added: “They have been a bit tight with the purse strings in recent years with the stadium building but you only have to look at the players they have brought in this summer, Pepe for £70m, £25m for Kieran and £52m for Lacazette a couple of seasons ago.

“Arsenal are on the right track. They will be looking to make the top four and they might be able to capitalise on Chelsea not being able to sign players because there is a transfer ban.

“You look at Spurs and they are in a bit of a mess with players running their deals down and Dele Alli not in the team.

“Is their manager happy? They are in a bit of turmoil and so Arsenal will be pushing for a top-four place.”