Arsenal full back Kieran Tierney is a solid defender, there is no doubt about that, but the latest comparisons to Virgil van Dijk are a step too far.
Gordon Strachan has gone as far as to suggest the Scotland international reads the game the same way the Liverpool stalwart does.
This is also a point that the author of the Star article the quotes I use here derives from, as reporter Tom Hopkinson states: ‘Arsenal have landed themselves a defender who reads the game as well as Virgil van Dijk in left-back Kieran Tierney.‘
The point that he’s agreeing with is that of former Celtic boss Strachan. “Kieran is seriously a wonderful kid and his understanding of danger is magnificent,” he’s quoted as saying by the same Star report.
“He reminds me of Virgil van Dijk in that way. The first time I watched Virgil and Kieran play, I thought, ‘Are you lucky, or are you brilliant at reading the game?’
“I’d love to see some analysis on how many times he intercepts or clears the ball in the box.“
While I’m not trying to suggest that van Dijk is untouchable, an experienced manager is throwing around his name as if he isn’t up the Ballon d’Or.
Tierney is a quality full back – I’d actually go as far as to suggest that I’d take him, if we ever lost Andy Robertson for some reason.
But comparisons to van Dijk isn’t going to help the lad. It’s a big compliment, but so it moving to a club for a record-breaking fee (Harry Maguire), and that doesn’t always rest easy on the head of a player.