"They didn't listen"; Pat Nevin tried to convince Chelsea to sign Kieran Tierney from Celtic

By Euan Davidson

March 31, 2022

Former Celtic youth player and Chelsea favourite Pat Nevin tried to convince the Blues to sign Kieran Tierney from the Bhoys “four years ago”.

Tierney, who’s been excellent for Arsenal since his 2019 move, is being tipped for a transfer to the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid. For Celtic supporters, it’s not been any surprise to see the likeable ex-Academy talent thrive on a bigger stage. Nor for Nevin.

The popular pundit and ex-Scotland international lamented Chelsea’s signing of Ben Chilwell instead, for more than they’d have paid for Tierney.

Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images

Speaking to Squawka, Nevin said: “I tried to get Chelsea to buy him four years ago but they didn’t listen and ended up signing Ben Chilwell from Leicester City for twice as much as Kieran would have cost them.

“If Kieran did join Real Madrid then I’m convinced he would have no problem fitting in there. He wouldn’t need time to settle or adjust.

“He hasn’t peaked yet, which is quite frightening. When I first met him he was a confident boy but he’s subsequently gone beyond that to have this total and utter belief in himself and you can see it by the way he carries himself on the pitch: you just think: ‘He’s got it.’

“Kieran is already one of the best footballers on the planet. He’s more than comfortable in the Premier League, which means he could play anywhere. I genuinely believe he can go on to win the Ballon d’Or.”

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If Chelsea listened to Pat Nevin, they’d have landed Kieran Tierney from Celtic and sorted the left-back slot for a generation

It’s no exaggeration to say Kieran Tierney is world class.

While any hopes of a Ballon D’Or might seem ambitious, who’s to say? If he gets a move to a club like Real Madrid, where there’ll be constant attention, is it beyond the realm of possibility?

Whatever the case, Kieran Tierney is a generational talent. While Greg Taylor has performed admirably in Tierney’s absence, there’s no doubt we could never truly replace KT. Left-backs coming through the Celtic Academy, and elsewhere, model their own game on Tierney’s style.

Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images

Pat Nevin is right; Kieran Tierney could go anywhere and take no time to fit in. His attributes; effort, passing, work-rate, tackling, tactical understanding – they’d transplant to any big club.

The Celtic-Chelsea pipeline has had mixed success, of course. Tom Boyd and Chris Sutton were definite successes. Jiri Jarosik, the jury’s out. In return, we’ve given them Islam Feruz and Tony Cascarino.

Nae joy.

Can Kieran Tierney continue to develop and become even more of an elite player? Injuries permitting, there’s nothing stopping him.

Now, Chelsea will be wishing they listened to Pat Nevin in 2018.

Read more: Premier League and Australia legend Tim Cahill laments Oz without Celtic boss Postecoglou