KIERAN TIERNEY has the necessary leadership qualities to become a full-time future Arsenal captain, according to an impressed Ally McCoist.
The Gunners left-back took over from Alexandre Lacazette as skipper for the final ten minutes of the club’s 3-2 victory over Watford at Vicarage Road last weekend.
Tierney is a future Gunners captain, according to Ally McCoistCredit: Getty
Striker Lacazette has been appointed as club captain for the rest of the season following the sale of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona due to disciplinary breaches.
Yet there is a growing clamour for Scotland international Tierney to be installed by boss Mikel Arteta as the permanent leader at the Emirates.
And it was telling that the club used an image of Tierney wearing the armband to advertise tomorrow’s clash with Leicester City on social media.
Though McCoist comes from the other side of the Old Firm divide from the former Celtic man, the ex-Rangers striker, 59, has seen enough in Tierney, 24, to appreciate his game-management.
McCoist, speaking on behalf of the National Lottery Football Weekends campaign, told SunSport: “I saw it at Celtic and how the lad developed there. Even then, I knew he would be a leader. Terrific.
“The obvious comparison is to someone like Liverpool’s Andy Robertson.
“The two of them are similar in their love and respect for the game, their desire to get to the top.
“I bet those two get up every morning and pinch themselves because they cannot believe what they are doing for a living.
“Like Robertson, I see Tierney and undoubtedly there is a leader there.
“A lot of my mates at talkSPORT – Laura Woods, Darren Bent and Ray Parlour – all see Tierney as a future Arsenal captain.
“Captains show leadership, camaraderie, spirit and galvanise their team. Tierney is still young and inexperienced in that capacity.
“But he will grow into that. You look at him, he is mature, he speaks well, his off-the-field interviews are very good. For me, he is obvious captain material.”
Arsenal take on the Foxes at home with real belief they will finish in the Top Four spots and return to Champions League football.
Tierney has not had it all his own way this year, dealing with the adversity of sitting patiently on the sidelines as Portugal newbie Nuno Tavares was given an extended run in the side.
McCoist said: “Life would be boring if everything was plain sailing and you are playing well and winning every week.
“Life is about how you adapt to situations when you are left out of the team, how you adapt to losing three games in a row.
“I don’t think for one minute that Arsenal are the finished article but at this moment, they are favourites for fourth spot this year.
“Sometimes getting left out of the team doesn’t do you any harm.
“It gives you a wee chance to look at your own game and revaluate yourself, as long as you do it in the correct manner. Now he is back in the side he will take some shifting.
“His game will improve in terms of his leadership. You don’t become a captain overnight.
“I bet he walks into the dressing room every morning with his eyes open. He would have learned off leaders like Scott Brown at Celtic.
“Defensively, he will improve and adapt to different situations.
“He is not a one-trick pony in that respect. He is not just a left-back – he can play wide in a five and as a left centre-back in a three. All these things in his game will develop.”
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To thank National Lottery players for their support they are now being given the chance to watch their local football team for free in March and April.
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