Transfers

3 Potential replacements for Arsenal target Kieran Tierney

 • by Sam McGuire
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All good things must come to an end.

After five seasons with the first-team and more than 150 appearances in all competitions, Celtic could be about to cash in on Kieran Tierney.

According to reports, the Bhoys have placed a £25million valuation on the 22-year-old and Arsenal are weighing up whether to increase their opening offer of £15million. If the Gunners are serious about challenging for a top-four place then it’s a valuation they should meet.

If Celtic hold out for the full fee, Neil Lennon and his recruitment team have the opportunity to add some quality to the squad. However, before they start plotting moves for players to fill other roles, a replacement for Tierney will have to be identified and acquired.

Finding someone to fill the void left by a player of his ability won’t be easy but it’s by no means out of the question if the Scottish Premiership champions profile their No.63 properly.

Identifying the key parts of his game will make it simpler to find someone who manages to tick those boxes. With this in mind, we’ve taken a look at the rumoured transfer targets to see which, if any, would be the ideal replacement for the Scotland international.

The Bhoys need a player who is a confident dribbler who can spot a pass. The replacement full-back needs to be used being busy, with Tierney averaging more than 6.5 tackles and interceptions per 90 in the Scottish Premiership last season.

So let’s take a look at those linked with a switch to Parkhead.

Milad Mohammadi

According to some reports, the 25-year-old is a long-term target for Celtic. He’s available on a free transfer after his deal with Akhmat Grozny expired meaning he could be the perfect signing for Lennon this summer.

Confident in the final third, Mohammadi averaged close to 40 passes per 90 minutes with 27 coming in the opposition’s half last season. He attempted 5.1 crosses, played 0.85 open-play Key Passes and averaged a remarkable 6.2 dribbles.

Defensively he was switched on, too, making 4.6 interceptions and 3.1 tackles per 90. He represents superb value for money and would, on paper at least, fit seamlessly into this Celtic side. Mohammadi is also dominant in the air, an added bonus, winning close to three of his aerial duels on a game by game basis.

Max Lowe

The link to Lowe has seemingly divided the fanbase. The Derby County full-back spent the season on loan with Aberdeen and did well. However, not well enough to warrant a move to Celtic in the eyes of some supporters.

But the stats show why the 22-year-old is reportedly of interest to the champions. He doesn’t attempt as many crosses as Tierney but Lowe wasn’t playing for the most dominant side in the league. His average of 3.35 is still an impressive amount and shows he isn’t averse to getting the ball into the area.

He’s active defensively, posting 7.7 tackles and interceptions, and he’s really confident on the ball, attempting 5.01 dribbles per 90. He ticks a number of boxes and it signing him from the Championship club wouldn’t break the bank.

Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo

According to reports, a bid of £3million would be required to sign Mbombo, cousin of Manchester United forward Romelu Lukaku. The Austria Wien full-back’s stats paint him as an inferior player to Tierney but there’s a lot of context to be taken into account.

Firstly, the 23-year-old isn’t playing for the best team in the league. While Wien are by no means minnows, their points haul during the 2018/19 season – 25 fewer than winners Red Bull Salzburg – meant they finished just four points ahead of ninth-placed Hartberg in a 12-team league.

Yet despite playing for a mid-table side, Mbombo still managed to post some impressive averages. He was attempting close to 50 passes per 90 last season while he completed 65 per cent of his 3.7 dribbles.

He competes for 3.46 aerial duels, too, and involves himself in 7.1 tackles and interceptions. The 23-year-old is another player who seemingly ticks all the boxes required to replace Tierney. All three could do the job, showing the Bhoys are doing their research in the transfer market, something that can only be a positive.

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