Posted: 10:31 PM EST February 27, 2021 | Updated: 12:09 am GMT, February 28, 2021

Kieran Tierney was a series winner when he played for Brendan Rodgers at Celtic and now Mikel Arteta is convinced the Scotland defender has transferred his winning mentality to Arsenal.

Tierney, 23, will face former boss Rodgers on Sunday just days after inspiring Arsenal to a spectacular European victory over Benfica.

The Scotland international has overcome his injury woes to become one of Arsenal’s most important players since his £ 25million transfer from Celtic.

Mikel Arteta praised Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney and stressed his threat

He added an FA Cup winner’s medal to his three Scottish Premiership gongs in his debut season at Arsenal and Arteta is desperate to keep him in shape for the remainder of the season.

“The right words to describe Kieran would be determination, passion and energy – that’s what he’s talking about,” said Arteta. “He’s determined in every action and puts it all into every game and the energy levels he provides to the team.

“He’s been a threat against Benfica on numerous occasions. He gives us something different on that left side and scored a great goal.

“It created the right momentum for us in the game to get us back on a level playing field, and we’re excited to see him again and hope we can keep him in good shape.”

Tierney was a rising star at childhood club Celtic and now shows he can be one of the best left-backs in the game. No wonder Rodgers did everything in his power to stop Arsene Wenger from signing him – before he jumped off the ship in Leicester and Tierney followed him south.

Arsenal’s European success cannot hide a poor three-game losing streak in four league games and they go to Leicester as an underdog, in the bottom half of the table.

The tie saved Arsenal’s season and Arteta has no illusions about the task his team face

Arteta recognized the scale of the challenge he faces in catching up with Rodgers and Co.. not to mention their former top four rivals.

He added: “The competition to be the best team in the league is very difficult. We are in a moment of reconstruction. The number of things we had to do this Christmas time is unprecedented, it shows where we are and probably what we need to do in the summer as well.

“But at the same time, this club cannot stop. This club can’t think it’s a project, we have to win and we have to be one of the best teams in the country right away.

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