Saturday evening was a difficult watch for Arsenal supporters. The Gunners were swatted aside by Liverpool, succumbing to a 3-0 defeat with all the goals coming after the interval.
Yet in terms of the club’s long-term plans, arguably their worst moment of the night came in the first half. Shortly before the interval, Kieran Tierney walked off gingerly having picked up an injury.
It has become a familiar sight during Tierney’s career.
How many injury problems has Tierney had at Arsenal?
Since arriving at Arsenal in 2019 under then manager Unai Emery, the left-back has had five separate spells on the sidelines with various ailments. That looks set to become six following his latest setback.
His most notable issue came in December 2019 when he sustained a serious shoulder injury. This kept him out of action for over three months, and meant that he missed 19 games.
In total, he has been absent from the squad list on over 30 occasions in the past 20 months due to injury.
Was his fitness a concern before he came to Arsenal?
Prior to moving to north London, Tierney played for Celtic. He made his debut for the Hoops in 2015, and spent a further four years at the club before switching to the Premier League.
During this time, he missed over 40 matches for the Scottish giants. This included struggling on multiple occasions with a hip problem.
Tierney’s physical issues at Arsenal are nothing new for the 23-year-old.
Is he in danger of becoming another Jack Wilshere?
Tierney has become a popular figure at the Emirates. His all-action style has endeared him to the club’s fans in what has been a disappointing campaign for Mikel Arteta’s men.
It is understandable why Emery and Arsenal’s former Head of Football Raul Sanllehi wanted to sign him two years ago.
Yet with each injury, it is hard not to draw comparisons with a former fans’ favourite – Jack Wilshere.
The England international broke onto the scene as a teenager and looked set to become a huge figure for Arsenal for years to come. Unfortunately, a series of injuries curtailed his progress.
Wilshere’s main issue was ankle injuries, and they undeniably held him back from achieving his full potential. Across his Arsenal career, Wilshere missed over 150 games through injury.
The midfielder was known for refusing to back down, inviting challenges when dribbling with the ball at his feet, and biting into tackles when the opposition were in possession. That swashbuckling style seemed to take its toll and Tierney’s approach to the game is eerily similar.
Will he suffer the same fate as Wilshere, who is now plying his trade in the Championship?
That remains to be seen, but Arteta must be fearing the worst after suggesting Tierney’s latest problem seemed quite serious.