'He was brilliant' - Arsenal new-boy Tierney wows Holding with sparkling debut

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The centre-back was impressed with the former Celtic star's first performance in the Gunners' 5-0 win against Nottingham Forest

Rob Holding hailed "brilliant" Kieran Tierney after the left-back sparkled during his Arsenal debut on Tuesday night.

Tierney joined the Gunners from Celtic for £25 million ($31m) on deadline day following a transfer saga which had rumbled on throughout the summer.

But the Scotland international has had to wait two months for his debut while recovering from a double hernia operation which he underwent before he completed his move to the Emirates.

His big moment finally arrived on Tuesday against Nottingham Forest and the 22-year-old made an immediate impression as Unai Emery’s side booked their spot in the fourth round with a thumping 5-0 win.

Tierney impressed throughout, with his willingness to get forward and excellent crossing ability catching the eye.

And Holding, who was making his first appearance in 10 months following injury, was full of praise for his new team-mate.

“I think he was brilliant,” said the centre-back, who scored the second of Arsenal’s five goals.

“I loved having him on the left side of me. He was solid and for his first game back from a double hernia operation you can't ask for any more than that.”

Tierney has proved to be a popular addition behind the scenes at Arsenal following his move from Celtic.

Kieran Tierney, Arsenal vs Nottingham Forest

He has settled in well in north London and already become a big figure in the changing room, despite giving the impression of someone who is shy around the media.

“Kieran’s a good Scottish lad who brings a bit of banter to the team,” said Holding. “He and I are getting on really well, you couldn't ask for a better way for him to settle in.

“He’s a top-quality lad and he’s a great lift in the changing room as well. He’s a really nice guy and I’m so happy for him to play and get 60 minutes under his belt.”

Tierney was not the only player who produced an impressive debut performance against Forest on Tuesday night.

Brazilian teenager Gabriel Martinelli was handed his first start by Emery and he marked the occasion with two goals, opening the scoring in the first half before wrapping things up with Arsenal’s fifth in stoppage time.

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Emery labelled the striker’s performance as "perfect" and Holding was also quick to pay tribute to the youngster.

“He’s been a handful in training,” said the centre-back. “He’s a sharp lad and a natural finisher.

“You saw the header, he’s a small lad and he got up there and won it. He’s impressive so hopefully he can continue with that.”

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