Brendan Rodgers backs Kieran Tierney to make an impact at Arsenal

Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers has no doubt former Celtic defender Kieran Tierney will find his feet and make an impact at Arsenal.

On Saturday at the King Power Stadium, Rodgers and Tierney will be on opposing sides for the first time since the ex-Bhoys manager departed Celtic Park for Leicester last February and with the player now at Arsenal following a £25million move in August.

Rodgers has nothing but praise for Tierney as he said: “As a player, in the first week working with him, I could see after two or three days why there was a lot of clamour for him.

“From that moment he was absolutely brilliant for me. He became stronger, more powerful, very aggressive in his game.

“He worked hard every single day but he was also a strong boy mentally, and he had a lot of good mentors. Scott Brown was an incredible captain for me, and he (Tierney) took on that mantle to try and be like him.

“Every day in training he was very focused on becoming better, and obviously he loved Celtic as a club. He supported the club, and that gave him that extra one per cent every time he played.

“So as a player he was fantastic, and he captained the team for me on a few occasions as well, but also a great boy, very humble, just wanting to be the very best he can be.”

Arsenal’s move for Tierney was three years in the making as they approached Celtic for the now 22-year-old in Rodgers’ first week in charge of the club in May 2016.

“Peter (Lawwell, chief executive) had said to me – and he was very honest about it – there was a possibility of Kieran going to Arsenal, but there was no rush for Celtic to sell him, and there was a big offer at the time,” added Rodgers.

“So I spoke to Kieran, told him I wanted him to stay, to be a big part of what we were doing, and between him and the club, a new deal was agreed, and he stayed until he went in the summer.

“He’s gone into Arsenal, a really competitive team and a huge club, and it takes that little bit of time to settle.

“He’s gone from one big city to another, leaving behind his family and friends in Glasgow, so it’s been a period of adaptation for him.

“I’ve got no doubt he will do very, very well in his time.”

Rodgers, meanwhile, has hailed James Maddison as “a big talent”, with the midfielder again called into the England squad for the Euro 2020 qualifiers against Montenegro and Kosovo.

It is the fourth time Maddison has been called up, although on the last occasion he blotted his copybook as he was spotted in a casino shortly after withdrawing, citing illness.

Rodgers said: “He is a fantastic player and a wonderful talent who is improving and getting better all the time.

“He is working very hard, for Leicester first and foremost, and then ultimately to take a place in the England squad.

“He will do his very best for Leicester, and then when he does well, he reports (for England) and he can do no more.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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