Tierney linked with Arsenal move: How does he compare with Kolasinac?


Celtic defender and Scotland international Kieran Tierney has been linked with a first move out of his home nation, to Arsenal of the Premier League.

Unai Emery’s Gunners are looking to boost their defensive options in the summer transfer window after performances at the back have been the club’s major downfall in recent years. And according to The Mirror, are ready to launch a bid of £25 million to prize the left-back away from the Scottish champions, who he is contracted to for another four years.

The 21-year-old has spent his entire career at Celtic Park, having progressed through the academy and has caught the eye of many teams outside of Scotland for his impressive performances in recent years. It’s thought that the departure of his mentor and former manager Brendan Rodgers to Leicester City this week, however, will make the defender start to look elsewhere. If they do want him, the North Londoners should move fast with rumours also linking him with a move to the King Power Stadium to continue working with Rodgers.

Today, in light of the speculation today and to see if the youngster could slot straight into Emery’s starting team over the current options, we are going to compare him to first-choice left-back for the PL’s fourth-placed side, Sead Kolasinac. Join us.

Statistical comparison

The comparison we’ll be carrying out in this statistics-driven tactical analysis is a purely statistical one and in order to do it, we’re going to use the below graphic from whoscored.com. The image contains the defensive stats of both players in the UEFA Europa League this season.

Kieran Tierney Sead Kolasinac Arsenal Celtic Statistics

As you can see, the sample we’re analysing is smaller for Kolasinac as he has played fewer matches and minutes in Europe’s second-string domestic club competition in 2018/2019, but not to such an extent that our comparison is made unfair.

It’s a good start for the Isle-of-Man-born Scot as he takes our first two stats after the appearances and minutes with more tackles per game in the competition this campaign and more interceptions per game. However, the superior experience of the Bosnia & Herzegovina man is displayed by him winning the greater number of offsides and comitting fewer fouls, per match.

But from here on in, it’s all Tierney with him being the player to take four of our last five stats, registering more clearances per game (2.5 to 1.7), getting dribbled past on fewer occasions per game (0.2 to 1), making more blocks on average (0.2 to 0), and possessing the better WhoScored average match rating (7.13 to 7.08). Whilst neither player has averaged any own-goals.


In conclusion in our statistical tactical analysis today, we can quite clearly see that Tierney has been the better defender of the two attack-minded left-backs in the Europa League this term. And some stats also suggest that things would be no different had Kolasinac played as much as the Scotland man in the tournament.

Whilst looking at a bigger sample would give us a better picture of who the better player is, this gives the Gunners a very promising preview of Tierney’s consistently and talents. Whether he would come in to replace Kolasinac straight away remains to be seen, but he would certainly be breathing down his neck at the Emirates Stadium.

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