MANCHESTER UNITED and Tottenham Hotspur are both believed to be in the market for a left-back, with the two Premier league title challengers looking to bolster their squads.
There is uncertainty around Danny Rose’s future with the temporary Wembley residents, while Jose Mourinho appears to have little faith in England international Luke Shaw.
One left-back consistently linked with a move to the Premier League duo is Celtic’s Kieran Tierney.
Our friends at Football Whispers have taken a look at what the 20-year-old Scottish international could offer Spurs or United, and how good he can become.
A lifelong Celtic fan, Tierney has been at the Glasgow club since he was just seven years old, rising through the Hoops’ youth ranks and building a reputation as one of the most talented young players in Scotland.
He made his senior debut in April of 2015, aged just 17, coming off the bench in a Scottish Premiership tie against Dundee.
He made one more first-team appearance, against St Johnstone, before the 2014/15 season came to a close.
In the following campaign, while still only 18 years of age, Tierney became a much more regular feature at Celtic Park, making a total of 33 all-competitions appearances, impressing with his maturity, dynamism and quality of deliveries from wide areas.
‘BETTER THAN MANGALA’ City stewards chase squirrel at Etihad… but fans want him to stay
It was during this time that the youngster began to receive widespread acclaim, with several top clubs from south of the border beginning to track his progress with a view to a future move for the highly-rated teenager.
Tierney played 40 games for the Bhoys last season, as Brendan Rodgers’ side went unbeaten on their way to a domestic treble. He is already halfway to matching that figure this term.
A Scotland international at under-18 and under-19 level, the young defender skipped the under-21s and was thrust straight into the senior Scottish side in March 2016.
He made his debut at Hampden Park in a friendly against Denmark and helped Gordon Strachan’s men keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory.
He has since accumulated a total of eight caps for Scotland and, due to Liverpool left-back Andrew Robertson also being one of the side’s more prominent players, Tierney often shows his versatility be slotting into the right-back berth.
With more than 90 senior appearances under his belt, 22 of which in European competition, Tierney is vastly experienced for a player of his age and has consistently displayed the kind of mentality and temperament that suggests he would not be overawed by an eventual move to a Champions League contender.
He has all of the technical quality to thrive in such a team, too.
In attack, Tierney’s pace and technique make him a real asset, moving forward and exploiting space intelligently, and invariably producing a quality cross or pass at the end of any move.
Indeed, in the Champions League this season, he’s averaging an impressive 1.3 key passes per game and 0.7 accurate crosses – and that’s in a group containing big-spending Paris Saint-Germain and German giants Bayern Munich.
He is also solid defensively, and constantly improving his positional understanding while filling out physically. His exceptional ability to read play has led to an average of 3.7 interceptions per game in the Champions League this term.
Rodgers is certainly impressed by Tierney’s ability, and has even tipped the youngster for a leadership role at Celtic in the future.
“He’s made for it, there’s no doubt about that,” the former Liverpool boss said of Tierney’s captaincy potential. “We’ve got some real senior guys at the club. I could give anyone the captain’s armband; Craig Gordon or Mikael Lustig. But if you’re talking for the future once Scott Brown’s time is up – which won’t be for a few years yet – then he’s made for it.”
Valued at more than £20million, Tierney will not be cheap for any prospective buyer, and Celtic will be in no hurry to part ways with their star defender.
But if the United and Spurs transfer target can be lured to the Premier League, with his almost limitless potential, such a fee could end up looking a real bargain.