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'The Arsenal fans have helped me so much'

Kieran Tierney

In an exclusive, long-read interview with the Arsenal matchday programme, Kieran Tierney has opened up about his move from boyhood club Celtic to Arsenal, at the age of 22 in 2019.

He was a firm fans' favourite with the Glasgow giants - having grown up a devoted Bhoy himself - winning four league titles and three Young Player of the Season awards after making his debut aged 17. But the Scotland international defender admitted the speed with which his new set of fans took him to their heart surprised him, and made the transition so much easier.

"One hundred per cent," Tierney told the matchday programme. "The Arsenal fans, ever since I came here, have been amazing. I was injured when I came so for them to show love to an injured player, who they probably didn't know much about, speaks volumes for how good a set of fans that is.

"They could have been questioning why we signed someone who is injured, but the support they showed me gave me so much confidence, and then eventually when I made my debut, the reception I got was incredible. The feeling that gave me was amazing.

"Since I've been here, the Arsenal fans have helped me settle in a lot. It was a hard time for me, moving away from home, but the fans have eased that a lot."

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He had plenty of highlights with his former club in Glasgow, and many of them revolved around the supporters. In his later years it became something of a trademark of Kieran's to lead the fans' chants with a megaphone, following particularly notable wins.

"Stuff like that was just… just wow," he said. "You will never be able to compare that feeling to anything else in the world. It was seriously like an out-of-body experience.

"I've got the megaphone and I'm leading the chants with people I used to actually sit in the stands with. I was on the pitch, looking straight at my mates who I grew up with, who are down there at the front singing with you. Stuff like that is fairytale stuff. It's not until you talk about it afterwards, or watch it back that I realise how insane, how incredible it was.

"You know what, I've never done an interview about this before, or really spoken about it much. People just assume it means a lot to me so don't ask about it, but when I think about it now, it really was incredible. What an experience that was. What a feeling it would be, for anyone.

"The only thing you could really liken it is being a singer, and having people sing your song back at you at a gig. It's like having a crowd at your gig and you're in charge of what song is coming up next!"

Already the 24 year old is nurturing a similar relationship with the Arsenal fans, and when asked why he thinks he is so popular among the Emirates faithful, Kieran said: "I hope it's just for being me. I'm not trying to be anyone else. I'm the same person I was growing up. Obviously life has changed a lot, times have changed, but I am still who I am and I hope people can see that.

"I'm a hard worker, I believe you need to work for what you want. When you grow up as a working-class person you need to work for everything you've got. My mum and dad drilled that into me.

"I hope people see that, and realise that I'm giving 100 per cent for the badge every single time. Whether I'm playing well or not, I'm still giving 100 per cent and I think that the Arsenal fans love to see that.

"Maybe that's why they have taken to me, but I'm very grateful for it because they have been patient with me, and whenever I've met them it's all been positive."

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