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'Tierney will be a sensation for Arsenal' - £25m left-back is a bargain, says Celtic legend Hay

11:02 GMT+3 09/08/2019
Kieran Tierney Celtic 2018-19
The Gunners finally landed the Scotland international on transfer deadline day, with a former favourite at Parkhead expecting him to thrive in England

Kieran Tierney will be a “sensation” for Arsenal, says Celtic legend Davie Hay, with the Gunners considered to have landed themselves a bargain in a £25 million ($30m) transfer deadline day deal.

After several weeks of speculation regarding the 22-year-old full-back, he was finally prised away from Parkhead before the summer window slammed shut in England.

Celtic had been understandably reluctant to part with a prized asset, with an academy graduate having flourished after stepping onto a senior stage in Glasgow.

Hay, though, acknowledges that the lure of the Premier League was always going to be too great, with Tierney now ready to show a wider audience just how good he can be.

The Hoops icon told the Evening Times: “The moment Kieran Tierney burst onto the scene four years ago as a 17-year-old, which is when he made his debut, and who played as if he was a seasoned pro, I quickly concluded that one day a club from a bigger league, and importantly with a lot of money, would come in with a record bid.

“It didn’t take long for most of us to realise the Celtic had produced a real gem. The best we’ve seen in a long time. That this was a lad who could play anywhere he wanted. Keeping Tierney a secret was never on the cards.

“Arsenal bid £10million for him when he was 19. That was knocked back. They were never going to go away forever. Everton had a nibble a year ago. God knows how many other clubs have sent a scout to Celtic Park

“KT was always, one day, going to say his goodbye to the club he will always support to go on an adventure.”

Hay added: “Arsenal have done well to get him for £25million and I’m sure most Celtic supporters, while disappointed, understand why one of their own is now an English Premier League player.

“How good is he? I was fortunate to play with Tommy Gemmell and Danny McGrain. I have no hesitation putting young Kieran in that bracket in terms of the great full-backs produced by Celtic.

“My guess is that Tierney didn’t want to leave Celtic. There was no banging on Neil Lennon’s door, he didn’t put in a transfer request and never once spoke about playing elsewhere.

“However, some opportunities are too good for anyone to turn down.

“Arsenal haven’t won so much in recent times; however, we are talking about a huge club in a fantastic league, and it’s a team which I believe is getting better.

“I have no fear about Tierney being good enough. He is going to be a sensation.”

Tierney will be hoping to make an immediate impact in a new-look Arsenal side, with it possible that a number of fresh faces will line up for the Gunners in their 2019-20 season opener away at Newcastle on Sunday.