Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said yesterday he was uncertain whether Scotland international Kieran Tierney would play again for the club this season after he suffered knee ligament damage against Liverpool. The 23-year-old full-back limped off before half-time in a 3-0 Premier League loss at home to Jurgen Klopp’s men on Saturday.
Arsenal confirmed that Tierney suffered knee ligament damage during the game and could be sidelined for the next six weeks. If that is the case, he could return for the final league game of the season at home to Brighton on May 23 — with the Europa League final taking place three days later.
But Arteta, speaking ahead of today’s Europa League quarter-final first-leg tie against Slavia Prague at the Emirates, was keen not to make promises over Tierney’s immediate future. “We have to make sure first that he doesn’t need any surgery, which it doesn’t look like,” he said.
“If that’s the case, the timeframe will be around that (six weeks). It could have been worse because the action looks quite scary but he’s feeling better and the damage is not that bad. At the end of the day, it’s not the bad news that maybe we were expecting after the game.”
Arteta also stopped short of confirming whether he felt Tierney would be fit for Scotland’s Euro 2020 campaign, adding: “Again, it will depend on how things evolve in the next few weeks. “He’s so keen to play for us before the end of the season and he’s extremely keen to represent his country in the Euros.”
The Euro 2020 tournament, delayed by a year because of the coronavirus pandemic, starts on June 11.
Solskjaer welcomes rivalry between goalkeepers
De Gea and Henderson
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has welcomed the “healthy competition” for the Manchester United goalkeeping jersey between David de Gea and Dean Henderson. Speculation has grown over the future of the 30-year-old De Gea, who has not started a match since the 0-0 draw with Chelsea on February 28. The former Atletico Madrid star, previously the undisputed number one at Old Trafford and capped 45 times by Spain, has been linked with a move to Atletico, Real Madrid or Paris Saint-Germain. United manager Solskjaer, speaking on the eve of his side’s Europa League quarter-final first leg against Spanish side Granada, talked up the value of competition in the squad.
“When you’re a part of Man United, there will always be players that come in and they’re not just there to fill the squad,” he said. “David (De Gea) has had 10 fantastic years at Man United. Sergio (Romero) probably played fewer games than he deserved. Dean comes in and he wants to play. It’s a healthy competition.”
Solskjaer said both goalkeepers were happy to sit on the bench if the other got the nod.
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