NEIL LENNON revealed he had some words of advice for Kieran Tierney after his £25million move to Arsenal was completed just before yesterday’s English transfer deadline.
The Celtic manager had a big decision to make in December 2000 when Martin O’Neill, his manager and mentor at Leicester City, wanted him to join his Parkhead revolution.
Lennon, a boyhood Hoops fan, quit the English top-flight outfit in a £6million switch and the rest is history.
He admitted he was not surprised Tierney had gone to the London club and, speaking to the Evening Times, admitted: “This might be a big weight off his mind now.
“I just told him to keep calm and just to try and stay in the present and not envisage what it’s going to be like. It can easily run away from you.
“These things tend to take their natural course, from my experience. It’s a real wrench for him to go, but it’s progression, isn’t it?
“We don’t all see it as that, but financially he’s going to be in a better place and he’ll be playing in the Premier League. It’s a great place for him to play and thrive at another great club.
IN THE RED…Kieran Tierney in his new Arsenal shirt.
“The opportunity may never come again. The kid has lofty ambitions and the next step for him is to play in the Premier League. It’s more about his football ambition as well as financial.
“He goes with our best wishes. He’s been a brilliant player for us and obviously he’ll be a big loss.”
Lennon added: “He can go all the way. We forget he’s 22, so he’s not even matured fully yet. He’s got so much ahead of him.
“He’s been outstanding for Celtic and Scotland. It might be difficult for him to adjust to because of his home life in Scotland and how much he loves Celtic, but it’ll be a new challenge for him.”
Tierney has struggled with injuries since the turn of the year and made only nine first-team appearances for the club with Jonny Hayes and Emilio Izaguirre filling in at left-back. The former Aberdeen star was in his place during the 2-1 Scottish Cup Final victory over Hearts on May 25 which sealed the club’s unprecedented treble treble.
The Scotland international defender’s second last outing in the green-and-white hoops was in the semi-final of the competition when Lennon’s men overcame Aberdeen 3-0 on April 14.
He made his final bow when the Parkhead side claimed their eighth successive title in the 3-0 triumph over the same opponents at Pittodrie on May 4.
Tierney limped off just before the hour mark to be replaced by Hayes and as he hobbled to the touchline it was a sad farewell to his four years as a Celt.