Virgil van Dijk proven right about Kieran Tierney

The duo spent a short time together at Scottish giants Celtic. Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk is a big fan of Kieran Tierney.

Tomorrow marks exactly one year to the day since Arsenal sealed the £25million signing of Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney.

The defender had been making significant strides for the Scottish club and was attracting attention from no shortage of clubs in England.

But after several months of rumours, Arsenal won the race for the 23-year-old, signing him on a long-term contract.

However, the Isle of Man-born defender did not quite have the impact that he would have hoped for.

He arrived at the Emirates Stadium still suffering from a hip injury, meaning he had to wait until early-October before making his Gunners debut, claiming an assist in a 4-0 win over Standard Liege in the Europa League.

It was the ideal start for the Scotland international and he was starting to show exactly why Arsenal had made the decision to spend £25million on him.

But just as the left-back was getting into his stride he was struck down by another injury, this time dislocating his shoulder in a 3-1 away win over West Ham United at the London Stadium.

It was a heartbreaking blow for the Scotsman, who had started to show glimpses of just why Arsenal had spent big-money on him.

The injury ruled him out for much of the remainder of the season. But the impact of the coronavirus pandemic came at the perfect time for Tierney, as he was able to get back to full fitness during the lockdown period ahead of the restart.

And between the restart in mid-June and the end of the season he was nothing short of outstanding, making the left-back berth his own under Mikel Arteta’s stewardship.

He played in all 10 of the Gunners’ Premier League matches following the restart as well as the FA Cup victories over Sheffield United, Manchester City and Chelsea.

His performances in both a defensive sense and attacking sense were impressive, which have quickly seen him become a firm fans’ favourite at the Emirates Stadium.

Though it has taken Tierney time to find his feet, though injury issues contributed to that, he is now showing exactly why the Gunners were so keen to sign him 12 months ago.

And it just goes to show that Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk was bang on the money with his prediction about his former Celtic teammate.

Before Arsenal had even concluded a deal for the left-back last summer, van Dijk was backing Tierney to thrive in the Premier League and he has done exactly that.

“It is not an easy step to make and you have to play well to do it,” van Dijk said, as quoted by the Daily Record last year. “But he has the qualities.

“Kieran made his debut against Dundee when I was at Celtic. I scored a free-kick up there and then he came on and helped us get the win.”

In total during the 2019/20 campaign, Tierney racked up 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal and registering four assists.