Arsenal complete signing of Kieran Tierney for £25 million
It doesn’t seem real but Kieran Tierney is now an Arsenal player after his £25 million move from Celtic was finalised on English Football’s final day of the summer transfer window.
A Scottish record fee, the 22-year-old completed a medical on Thursday following terms being agreed between the Scottish champions and the fifth best team in the English Premier League.
Arsenal had spent much of the summer chasing the signature of the Scotland international and had two bids previously rejected before their third and final bid meeting Celtic’s demands was accepted hours before the 5pm deadline.
Celtic issued a statement confirming Tierney’s sale soon after, stating that they ‘did all we could’ to keep the full back at the club but that ultimately the player wanted the move - despite claims from elements of the fan base that Peter Lawwell and the club were forcing the player out to cash in on him.
The statement read: “Celtic Football Club today confirmed that Kieran Tierney has signed for Arsenal FC, after completing a medical earlier in London.
“We did all we could to keep Kieran at Celtic. While the club did not need or wish to sell Kieran, this was an opportunity which Kieran very much wished to pursue and with the club having received a significant offer, we have agreed to the transfer.
“Kieran has been a big part of the club for a number of years, coming through our Academy structure and becoming a key first team player of real quality.
“He has made a significant contribution to Celtic and we thank him very much for all he has given to the club and, of course, we wish him very well for the future in his career.”
Manager Neil Lennon paid tribute to the departing star, adding: “This is an opportunity Kieran wanted to take and while we will be sad to see him leave the club, we wish Kieran all the very best for the future.
“Although he is still a young guy, Kieran has given the club so much. He’s a great lad and I’ve really enjoyed working with him. I’m sure he will continue to progress and develop and make a big impact in the English Premiership.
“It has obviously been a long process, but now it has been finalised we can now look ahead and concentrate on continuing to build our own squad and meet the many challenges ahead, domestically and in Europe.
“We had a really good performance and result last night at a difficult venue and I would like to thank our fans for travelling to Romania and supporting us so well. Yet again, the team had such great support in Europe and we are hugely grateful for that.
“We look ahead to next week with confidence but of course realise we still have a lot of work to do against a very good team.”
Speaking to the official Arsenal website, Tierney claimed that the decision to leave the Scottish champions was the ‘hardest decision in my whole life that I've had to make’.
He took to his official Instagram account paying tribute to Celtic, his former team mates and the fans.
View this post on Instagram
This is coming from the bottom of my heart! I don’t know how to even begin to put the last 15 years of my life into words... what you as fans have given me and my family I cannot repay you in any way possible and for that I am sorry. From the age of 7 I was lucky enough to play for the club I love and will continue to love till the day I die no matter what happens. Every single second of my Celtic career was a dream and I gave my all every single time I stepped onto that pitch, it’s honestly the least I could do for everyone involved at the club. There is to many people to thank individually so I don’t even know where to begin. Every single coach and staff member who has helped me on my way to getting where I am today I am so grateful for all the hours help you put into me making me a better player and a better person. My team mates have been the best I could possibly have asked for what a bunch of legends man who I’ll be supporting untill the end. Where can I start with the fans? I tried my best to represent you every time I went onto that pitch. The relationship we had together and the memories we created and history we made was incredible.. I will cherish every single second of it. I hope we can continue to have a relationship although I understand that will be never for some people which is heartbreaking for me but I understand the emotions surrounding this situation. It has been the hardest day or two of my life and I really appreciate every single message of support from you all. This was not easy in any way shape or form. To end id like to mention the special relationship I had with the ultras who I have grown up with from BHOYS and Green Brigade.. the atmosphere yous create to help the team is massive and it helped me so much over the last few years.. I thank u so much for these times together what we have achieved as a club the last few years isn’t possible without you and all the fans. This is not nearly enough of what I am feeling but I literally cannot put into words with the emotion I’m feeling towards you all but I hope I showed you every game that I was lucky enough to play. God bless🙏🏻💚 @celticfc
Tierney also paid tribute to Celtic skipper Scott Brown, saying: “A post dedicated to my captain leader legend. Thank you so much for looking after me from day 1. U are one of a kind. What a player what a man. I owe you so much and learned so much from u.”
After breaking into the Celtic first team in April 2015, Tierney made 170 appearances in all competitions scoring eight goals. He went on to win four league titles, two Scottish Cups and two League Cups.
He racked up a number of individual awards as well, including winning the PFA Scotland Young Player of the Year three years in a row and Celtic’s Young Player of the Year three years in a row. And won 12 caps for the Scotland national side.