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Arsenal Season Review: Left Back
Next in the continuing series looking at how Arsenal did position by position is left-back.
I have previously looked at strikers:
Let's start by looking at how Arsenal's left-backs performed compared to the other Premier League teams this season.
Arsenal's left-backs look good compared to what other Premier League teams have done but if I am being honest I kind of expected more.
Some of this has been down to injuries and how that changed tactics, for example, when Takehiro Tomiyasu was injured Kieran Tierney played a much more reserved role compared to his normal almost wing back type freedom to get forward that he had at other times.
Arsenal did get excellent shot production from this position (but is that really what we want?) and the ability to act as an outlet for build-up. The other statistics are just okay to pretty good. I don't think that left-back is a problem but I am not sure it is exactly the strength that people often say that it is for this team.
Tierney's statistics are pretty different than his reputation.
Like I brought up earlier a good portion of the difference in reputation and performance could be how he had to adjust his game to be less aggressive at getting forward part way through the season. His stats at a more granular level show similar good but certainly not 'elite' production.
I wrote about the idea of selling Tierney and I think that if the right offer came, it would still be something that the team should still explore.
Nuno Tavares is chaos.
That is really the best way to describe him. In the attacking third, it is good chaos, he is a handful for defenders with his athleticism and ability to do both winger-type things out wide, but also with his ability to cut inside to areas that you would not typically find a full-back.
On defense, well he doesn't always look like he knows what he should be doing and where he should be. His athleticism can at times help cover for those mistakes but not always and he does seem to be mistake-prone.
Overall, I think it is about what you would expect from a player that Arsenal bought to cover for an established left-back.
Outlook for next season
There probably isn't going to be a ton of change at this position next season. There have been some rumors of Tavares potentially going on loan and also some links to Aaron Hickey who is a pretty two-footed left-back.
This isn't the most impressive looking radar so I don't think that this is something where Kieran Tierney would be threatened for his spot. The big variable for how good this group will be is how healthy Tierney is and how many minutes whoever ends up backing him up is called to play.