All the chatter today is of Kieran Tierney. It’s certainly one of the most interesting stories of the transfer window so far, and I absolutely get why it’s attractive. It ticks several boxes for us, and one of them is something I’ve been banging on about a while; home grown status for Champions League registration. I can see why the idea has obvious appeal.
Kieran was a great Celtic servant and a player who has proven himself a real top class competitor. He has an affinity for the club, he’s got the right combination of quality and dedication. I didn’t think ill of Kieran Tierney when he left.
He signed a big new contract before he did to maximise how much we got for him and although I know people at Celtic were shocked when, the year before, he had expressed a desire to go when Everton were interested, he gave us good service and made sure that we made a stupendous sum of money. I have no issues with his conduct at all.
But one of the reasons I was so sanguine about the prospect of his departure was that I felt, genuinely felt, that he was prone to injuries and that £25 million was the upper end of what we could get and what we were going to be able to get.
His fitness has been questioned, and I think that’s the only reason he hasn’t yet sealed a big move away from Arsenal, although I do strongly suspect that he will. Newcastle and others and hovering, and if they are willing to buy him that’s good for us.
The question is, whether it’s better for us than taking him on ourselves, on a season long loan. I think on balance the answer to that is yes, although he would certainly be an enhancement to our squad and would help us with that thorny issue of European registration. But if that’s or take a couple of million quid and use it to buy our own player, that’s the better option.
Kieran will always be fondly remembered for his time here. Since people returning to the club is all the rage at the moment, I recognise why this has grown legs. But you know, I don’t think players ever necessarily benefit from coming back and that would be the case here too. We’ve moved on, we’re a different animal and this wouldn’t help either of us.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be dead-set against this; you can tell that I’m not. I just don’t think it’s the best thing we can do. No harm to the kid, but when you weigh it all up I think I’d probably take a pass. That aside, I absolutely do wish him well.