A leading Italian football scout has earmarked Celtic left back Kieran Tierney as a player Juventus should be tracking.
Nicola Liguori, writing in Turin-based newspaper Tuttosport, likened the 20-year-old to a “young Patrice Evra” and hinted that the Bianconeri should run the rule over the defender, who was linked with Manchester United last week.
The Serie A giants are in the market for full backs, and have been linked with United right back Matteo Darmian.
But Liguori reckons that, as far as left-sided full-backs go, Juve could do worse than scout Tierney.
Hailing Tierney’s temperament and attacking prowess, Liguori tipped the defender as having the qualities to become a big player.
He continued: “I first saw [Tierney] in an Old Firm game in September 2016; a match of monstrous intensity [with] seven bookings, a red card...
“In the middle of the battle there was a young boy, aged 19, who possessed a Latin technique that set him apart from the rest.
“This game alerted me to Tierney, who I then watched six to seven times in the [Scottish Premiership], Champions League and the national team.”
• READ MORE - Celtic’s Kieran Tierney named in UEFA’s Champions League XI
Tierney has made more than 115 appearances for Celtic, and has already captained the side. The Isle of Man-born player has also won nine caps for Scotland, and has been backed by Brendan Rodgers to captain Scotland one day.
Liguori praised the “pure left-sided” Tierney’s versatility, pointing out that “in an emergency, he can play in a back three because he is so reliable defensively”.
Tierney has also operated at right back for Scotland on a handful of occasions in order to accommodate Liverpool left back Andy Robertson.
Liguori continues: “He is strong in the tackle, he overlaps continuously and has excellent technique. In some ways he reminds me of Evra during his early years at Manchester United.
• READ MORE - Brendan Rodgers hails Celtic’s ‘iron man’ Kieran Tierney
“We are talking about a 20-year-old who has made 29 assists in the last three seasons. In the current campaign, despite the calf problems he’s suffered in recent weeks, he’s on nine [assists].”
Liguori is of the opinion that Tierney needs to work on his heading technique but insists the player has what it takes to be a success on the continent.
“The most logical step up for Tierney would be joining an English Premier League club, where there is no language barrier and a similar style of play.
“But he has all the attributes to succeed even at a big Italian club, although it would take a little while for him to adapt to a more tactical approach to the game.
“The ideal route for him would be to mirror Alex Sandro’s rise at Juve when he alternated with Evra - first year playing understudy to an expert player, and then a gradual explosion.”
• READ MORE - Kieran Tierney ‘is the best left-back in Britain, bar none’