Mikel Arteta has opened the door to Kieran Tierney departing Arsenal in the summer with the left-back falling down the pecking order.

The 25-year-old has started just four Premier League games this season, while he has appeared as a substitute on 12 occasions.

Arteta has refused to rule out Tierney leaving Arsenal in the summer

Oleksandr Zinchenko has been preferred instead by Arteta following his reunion with the ex-Manchester City defender last year.

With the table-topping north Londoners looking to win their first league title since 2004, Arteta has been reluctant to tinker his team.

Tierney’s lack of game time has seen him linked with a departure away from the Emirates at the end of the campaign.

Newcastle are claimed to be keeping tabs on the Scotland international’s situation ahead of a potential £30million move.

And Arteta was asked about the future of Tierney in his pre-match press conference ahead of Arsenal’s home clash against Everton on Wednesday, which is live on talkSPORT.

To which he said: “I don’t know, I’m not thinking about that.

Tierney has been limited to just four Premier League starts this season

“I’m thinking about what’s best for the team and the players who earn the right to play minutes, that they all deserve.

“We’re going to try and do that in the next couple of games.”

Tierney is yet to start in the top-flight since the 3-1 Boxing Day win against West Ham.

He has been restricted to just one minute of league action in the last six matches after coming on late in the 4-2 win at Aston Villa earlier this month.


Tierney has been linked with a switch to their top four rivals Newcastle[/caption]

He will likely be recalled to the line-up when Arsenal face Sporting Lisbon in their Europa League Round of 16 tie next month.

Tierney started all six of the Gunners’ group stages matches, where he scored the winner in the final game against FC Zurich to secure top spot in Group A.

The ex-Celtic star joined Arsenal in 2019 for £25million, where he has featured in 112 games in all competitions – scoring five times.

Labelled as one of the ‘most exciting players in the Premier League’ by Arteta, Tierney is tied down at the Emirates until 2026 after penning a lucrative long-term contract in 2021.

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