View From The Sphere

Tierney is better: Emery must avoid quadruple Champions League winner at all costs – opinion


With funds limited at Arsenal this summer, you could perhaps understand if Unai Emery took up the chance of a bargain if the opportunity arose.

But considering Arsenal’s reported approaches for Celtic’s Kieran Tierney, such opportunities in the left-back position are probably best left alone in order to make the most of a long-term signing that could allow the position to be untouched in the years to come.

Of course, that would depend on both Arsenal sealing a deal for the Scottish full-back in the coming weeks as well as Tierney delivering on the promise that his club clearly value above £15m – with reports suggesting The Gunners’ first bid for the 22-year-old was somewhat under-par.

But Emery should not give up on the youngster – and should certainly not be tempted by a potentially cheaper alternative – although reports in Spain seek to imply that the Gunners boss may be interested in a raid on Real Madrid for supposed wantaway defender Marcelo.

On the face of it, Marcelo would look to be an astute signing – he has won a pile of trophies at the Bernabeu, including four Champions League titles and four La Liga championships. However, with the Brazilian said to be searching for one final long-term deal to end his career, and possessing a market value twice the size of Tierney’s (at £22.5m), there is no indication that Arsenal would be able to get the defender on the cheap nor for very long as the 31-year-old seeks a Madrid exit.

The potential longevity of Tierney’s future career (whether he moves to Arsenal or elsewhere) could make him the more attractive target – and while he has only spent his career to date with the Scottish champions, he would also arrive at The Emirates with title-winning experience.

And with financial resources as tight as they are, the Scotsman would surely also be the more attainable of the two left-backs – should we assume that Madrid are not about to give away Marcelo in a cut-price deal – with the defender’s contract not thought to be up for another three years, and having already spent £272.7m on transfers this summer alone.

For Emery’s sake, hopefully the pursuit of Marcelo is merely a Plan B as far as their transfer strategies are concerned.

As for all of Marcelo’s past achievements, they shouldn’t be enough to ignore the promise of Tierney – or form a persuasive argument to suggest the ageing full-back can just turn up in the Premier League and become profitable for the Gunners from a footballing or financial perspective.

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