Celtic full-back Kieran Tierney is “a lot like Ashley Cole”, according to Kolo Toure, who hopes interest from the likes of Manchester United can be fended off for now.
The 20-year-old is a product of the academy system at Parkhead and was handed his debut in April 2015 at the age of 17.
He has gone on to become an established part of the fold at Celtic, gracing domestic and European stages.
His potential has been noted by a number of clubs, including many in England, and Toure can see why as Tierney reminds him of another famous left-back that he played alongside at Arsenal.
The Celtic coach said in The Herald: “Kieran Tierney is a lot like Ashley Cole in the way that he bombs up and downs the flanks and that he is also so physically strong.
“He plays every game as well. He is not the tallest but he is a fighter and he is strong. He crosses, gets back and defends. He is a very, very good player.
“Kieran Tierney’s work rate is just amazing. He gives 100 per cent in every game, he makes lots of runs and makes lots of assists too.
“He defends, he goes forward, he is every inch the modern left back.
“He is playing his football for a great club like Celtic and his potential is really great too.
“But we want him to stay with Celtic as long as possible.
“When you saw the way he was passing the ball against Anderlecht it was just great.”
Scotland international Tierney has made 19 appearances for club and country this season, netting one goal.
He penned a five-year contract with Celtic in June 2016, but it remains to be seen whether he can be kept in Glasgow to see out that agreement.
Cole, meanwhile, is approaching the end of his playing days in Major League Soccer with the Los Angeles Galaxy, having previously collected an enviable haul of trophies with Arsenal and Chelsea, while earning 107 caps for England.