Celtic ended their 2023/24 campaign last weekend with a 1-0 win at Hampden Park against their closest rivals to secure the SFA Cup trophy....READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM THE SOURCE

The Hoops had already lifted the Scottish Premiership title earlier in the month and made sure that they ended the season with a domestic double under their belt.

Brendan Rodgers avoided a trophyless return to Parkhead, having joined for a second spell in Glasgow last summer, by winning the SFA Cup and the league title.

However, European success, as his team finished bottom of their Champions League group, and the League Cup, which they were knocked out of by Kilmarnock in August, alluded him.

The upcoming summer transfer window will provide the manager with a chance to make further additions to his squad in an effort to make it ready to compete in Europe and across all domestic competitions next term.

Rodgers could now kickstart the window with a bang by landing a deal for a player the club are reportedly keeping close tabs on ahead of the summer.

Celtic’s interest in former Hoops star

Earlier this month, TEAMtalk named the Scottish giants as one of the teams eyeing up Arsenal left-back Kieran Tierney ahead of a possible swoop.

The report claims that the Scotland international is not in Mikel Arteta’s plans for the 2024/25 campaign, having just spent the season on loan with Real Sociedad in Spain.

A summer transfer away from The Emirates is now on the cards for the full-back and the Gunners would be willing to sell him for a small profit on the £25m they paid Celtic to sign him back in 2019.

TEAMtalk stated that Real Sociedad were pleased with his performances in LaLiga and would like to bring him back for a second loan stint in Spain.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa, Celtic, and a number of unknown European sides are also said to be interested in the Scottish dynamo ahead of the upcoming window.

However, the report did not add whether or not the Premier League side, who will be playing Champions League football next season, would be willing to sanction a loan deal for the defender if not team is prepared to pay in excess of £25m this summer.

If Rodgers and his backroom staff can get a move over the line for the former Bhoys academy graduate, though, then it could be the perfect start to the summer.

Why Kieran Tierney would be a huge signing for Celtic

Firstly, the 26-year-old ace is experienced in Europe and could be a key player for the Hoops on the continent, whether they end up in the Champions League or the Europa League.

In his career to date, Tierney has racked up 62 appearances in Europe for Celtic, Arsenal, and Real Sociedad combined, all of which have been in the two aforementioned competitions – including qualifiers.

Despite playing at left-back, the Gunners outcast produced three goals and seven assists in those 62 matches, which shows that he can provide a big attacking threat in European tournaments.

In his last Champions League campaign for Celtic, Tierney made 4.5 tackles and interceptions combined per game and won 64% of his ground duels across six appearances, which shows that he can win possession back on a regular basis whilst dominating players on the deck.

Alongside his excellent defensive work in Europe, the Scotland international was also a consistent creative threat in the Premiership during his time at Parkhead.

Kieran Tierney’s Celtic creativity
Scottish Premiership Appearances Goals Assists
2015/16 23 1 6
2016/17 24 1 8
2017/18 28 3 6
2018/19 20 0 5
Stats via Transfermarkt

As you can see in the table above, the £25m-rated star provided his teammates with 25 assists in 95 regular season Premiership matches, which means that he averaged one assist every 3.8 games on average.

These statistics suggest that Tierney has the quality to be a big defensive presence in Europe whilst also offering quality in possession on the domestic front, whilst also being able to hit the ground running due to his prior experience in Scotland with Celtic.

This is why Rodgers could kickstart the upcoming summer transfer window with a bang by securing a deal to sign the Arsenal defender, as he has the quality and experience to be an instant success domestically and in Europe next term.

Why Kieran Tierney could be an upgrade on Greg Taylor

Greg Taylor is the current first-choice option for the Northern Irish head coach at left-back and is currently the only natural operator in that role in the squad, as Alexandro Bernabei left to join Brazilian side Internacional on loan.

Tierney coming through the door would provide his compatriot with competition for his place in the side, which could help him to improve his own game instead of being complacent, as he knows that there are no natural alternatives to him at this moment in time.

The Arsenal full-back could also come in as an upgrade on Taylor from an attacking perspective, as his form for Celtic earlier in his career suggests that he could provide more in the final third.

Since his move from Kilmarnock, the current Hoops defender has produced eight goals and 25 assists in 173 appearances in all competitions, which is one goal contribution every 5.4 outings on average.

Whereas, Tierney racked up eight goals and 37 assists in 170 matches in all competitions for the Bhoys, which is a return of one goal involvement every 3.78 clashes on average.

This suggests that the £110k-per-week ace, who was once hailed as “unique” by Rodgers, could provide goals and assists far more frequently than Taylor.

23/24 season Greg Taylor (Premiership) Kieran Tierney (LaLiga)
Appearances 35 20
Tackles + interceptions per game 2.2 2.4
Clearances per game 1.1 2.0
Duel success rate 52% 60%
Ground duel success rate 57% 67%
Stats via Sofascore

As you can see in the table above, the Real Sociedad loanee could also offer more from a defensive perspective based on their respective form at league level this term.

His higher duel success rate suggests that he is stronger in battles with opposition attackers, which means that Tierney can win possession more frequently by cutting out attacks.

Overall, this appears to be a fantastic deal on paper for Celtic if they can secure his services, but the quality of competition, from Aston Villa and Real Sociedad, could make it a difficult one to get over the line…..CONTINUE READING THE FULL ARTICLE>>>

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