JAMES FORREST acknowledges Kieran Tierney could play for any team in England’s top flight.
However, the winger would much prefer his Scotland international team-mate continued to accompany him in the seasonal quest for silverware at Celtic.
Arsenal continue to be linked with the £25million-rated 22-year-old defender with the eight-in-a-row champions so far spurning their advances.
Forrest, 27, has come face to face with some of the game’s left-backs during European competition with the Hoops – and there isn’t a solitary individual he would place above his Parkhead pal.
The consistent wide-Bhoy, speaking to the Evening Times, admitted: “I’ve faced Jordi Alba, Jan Vertonghen and Aleksander Kolarov. There are a lot of top ones when you go into the Champions League or Europa League or are playing with Scotland.
“Kieran’s right up there. You can see the way he bombs up and down how fit he is and he’s good defensively, as well. He’s a great athlete.”
Forrest added: “There’s nothing between him and Andy Robertson. They are two great players for Scotland.
“Even though they play in the same position, they are slightly different with the way they play. It’s a bonus for Scotland that we have two players like that in the squad.
“You’d need to ask KT is he’d want to do what Andy’s done. Although he’s been linked, he’s not said too much. I’m not sure what he’s thinking about that.
“We’ve seen a lot of players who’ve gone down south and done well and a lot who have gone down and maybe not doing as well.
“But KT has got that ability. He’s shown it in the Champions League.
HAPPY BHOYS…Kieran Tierney leads Jonny Hayes, Timothy Weah and Callum McGregor after another victory.
“Also, he has a really good personality and it’s a credit to him how he gets on with things.
“KT has been linked with big clubs from the first season he broke into the team. He never lets any of that bother him. You have seen that in his performances over the last couple of years. He is always up there as one of the best players.
“It’s happened to a few of the boys, getting linked to different teams. But the staff and the club always keep you grounded.
“I hope that he stays. He’s such a good player and he’s been really important for us over the years.
“It’s good for him that he’s getting linked with clubs because it shows how well he is doing.
“It’s a positive thing for him and Celtic – but the club are doing everything they can to keep him.
“Rightly so, when you look at how good he has been for us. You want to keep your top players.”
Tierney underwent a double hernia operation at the end of the campaign after being sidelined for the Scottish Cup Final triumph over Hearts on May 25 that sealed the unprecedented treble treble.
He has vowed he is fully fit and raring to go in the new campaign.
Forrest just hopes it is in the green and white hoops of Celtic.