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Arsenal in double swoop transfer deadline drama

Gunners bring in defenders Luiz and Tierney on eve of new Premier League season, as Iwobi leaves for Everton

09 August, 2019 — By Steve Barnett

ARSENAL swooped to make a double defensive deal on transfer deadline day, finally landing Kieran Tierney from Celtic and, in arguably the most shocking signing of the summer, David Luiz from Chelsea.

A frenetic and frantic final day yesterday (Thursday) became even stranger some three-and-a-half hours after the 5pm cut-off had passed when it was confirmed that Everton had signed Alex Iwobi on a permanent deal for £35million.

It took the Gunners three attempts to get their hands on Tierney after what originally started with a £15m offer for the left-back ended with the club splurging £25m on the highly rated 22-year-old.

“We’re delighted ­Kieran is joining us. He’s a very talented player who will continue to improve,” said ­Arsenal head coach Unai Emery.

“He increases our options defensively and I look forward to him joining our group.”

After putting pen to paper on a “long-term” deal, Tierney, who will wear the number three shirt, revealed that fans will have to wait a few more weeks before seeing him in action as he recovers from a double hernia operation.


Alex Iwobi

“Obviously I’m injured now, but I’m just looking forward to getting back on the pitch, training and getting involved with the squad,” he said.

Reflecting on his decision to leave the club he supported as a boy, Tierney added: “It was the hardest decision in my whole life that I’ve had to make.

“I had to speak to my family and my close friends and my agent as well, because it’s a hard decision to leave a club that you love so much.

“People need to know that as well.

“I feel Arsenal is a massive club and it’s a great opportunity for me as well. I’m delighted to be here.”

However, the Tierney transfer was completely overshadowed in the final 24 hours of the window when news broke out of the blue that Arsenal were in talks to take Luiz from west to north London.

In the end the 32-year-old centre-back moved to the Emirates for £8m on a two-year contract, and is in line to make his debut this Sunday when Arsenal kick off the new Premier League campaign away at Newcastle.

Meanwhile, joining Iwobi through the Emirates exit – albeit only on loan – was young gun Eddie Nketiah, who will spend the season with Championship side Leeds United.


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