Arsenal outcast Kieran Tierney has been handed a major sign that he is not in Mikel Arteta's plans going forward - after a promised shake up of the starting line-up fell flat.

The former Celtic defender has been on the fringes of the Gunners' squad this term after falling behind Oleksandr Zinchenko in the Emirates pecking order, however boss Arteta had opened the door for changes against Crystal Palace after his side had to faced a gruelling 120 minutes in the Europa League exit at the hands of Sporting on Thursday. The 25-year-old, who last started a game in the 1-0 FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, would have been hoping to be handed a rare start in North London after Arteta promised no player would feature with less than 90 per cent match fitness.

Ahead of the clash with the Eagles, he said: "A lot of players had to play 120 minutes that we didn’t want to do, especially with the amount of minutes some players have played. If a player’s fitness is 50:50, he cannot play in the Premier League, you have to be at 90-100 per cent to be at the level we need.”

However, Tierney has now been sent a clear sign that he does not fit into the current style of play at Arsenal with Zinchenko handed another start against Palace. With Arsenal leading 3-0 and 65 minutes on the clock the left-back was given a rare run out.

However, he did attempt to make a case for a more regular appearance in the side as he chipped in with an assist for Bukayo Saka's goal in the 4-1 win. That will delight Steve Clarke with the defender set to feature for Scotland against Cyprus and Spain during the international break.

Following a season playing back-up to the Ukrainian international, Tierney has been heavily linked with a move away from Arsenal at the end of the campaign. Newcastle United have been tipped as a leading suitor for the deal.

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2023-03-19T16:23:53Z dg43tfdfdgfd