Neil Lennon yesterday told of how Kieran Tierney made one final Lennoxtown visit before heading down to Arsenal.
Hearts are still being mended for the Celtic supporters after Tierney departed for London on transfer deadline day in England. The deal secured Celtic £25million (BBC), but that’s far from what was on many fans’ minds after the deal.
However, for a small section of the support, Tierney’s move to Arsenal has been met with confusion. A question of why he would want to go down to the Premier League with 10-in-a-row in sight.
But there was certainly no hard feelings from the players regarding the left-back’s exit. Speaking to Celtic TV via his presser, Lennon touched on Tierney’s final visit.
“He was in yesterday. He popped in and everyone was delighted to see him – he got a nice farewell from the players and it was emotional for him.
“But the players will get on with it now. That’s what you do, you roll on. He’s going to be a big miss obviously, but there’s an opportunity there for someone else to take on the mantle now.”
Players’ response to Tierney exit tells you everything you need to know
Not one player at Parkhead comes across as bitter towards Tierney’s exit. That’s just the name of the game in football. Players want to test themselves at the highest level possible. In fairness to the Scotland international, that’s all he’s trying to do.
Nobody can ever question his love for Celtic. The whole “swapping immortality for mediocrity” patter doesn’t wash with this one. Tierney is going to a massive club in the Premiership. In a sense, this is breaking new ground for Celtic as it’s the first time in this era we’ve seen a player go directly to the top end of the Premier League from Parkhead.
You can’t have a go at Tierney for being intrigued about how far he could go in the game. He was perfectly entitled to take his talents where he feels they’ll be developed best.
Don’t rule out a return one day either. His love for the club is immense, and it would hardly surprise you if there was reunion somewhere down the line.
But the Celtic players know the name of the game. It’s all about continued improvement. We’re a club that develops decent players into very good players and subsequently moves them on for a fee.
Sure, there was an extra attachment to Tierney and therefore some fans will struggle to forgive. And yes, the likes of James Forrest and Scott Brown may have stuck around at Parkhead all these years. But we can’t really have a go at a player for looking beyond Glasgow, regardless of whether they grew up supporting us or not.