KIERAN TIERNEY has revealed he WILL return to Celtic – as a fan.
The Scotland international left-back quit the Hoops in a record-breaking £25million switch to Arsenal in the summer of 2019 – a move that left many of the club’s supporters stunned.
But Tierney insists he will go back to following Celtic when he retires from the playing side of the game.
The defender has settled in well at the London outfit, but admitted he misses Scotland every day and plans to settle back home when he hangs up his boots.
Tierney opened up in a frank interview in the Arsenal match programme before their 4-2 win over Leeds United at The Emirates yesterday, a game the player was forced to sit out through injury.
Asked what he will do when he calls it a day as a player, the 23-year-old ex-Hoops’ fans’ favourite answered: “I have thought about it, but it’s hard to say with it being so far away.
“It’s not crossed my mind to do any coaching badges or anything like that yet.
“Some of the older players talk about it, and doing the qualifications, it’s probably something you think more about when you get over 30, but before that it’s all about your playing career.
“Well, when I finish playing I’ll be back in Scotland, no doubt going back to my old life of supporting Celtic home and away again. I’ll be back there doing something, anyway.
“I’ll definitely live in Scotland when I finish playing, 100 per cent. I miss it every day.”
Neil Lennon has struggled to replace Tierney who was introduced to the Celtic first team by Ronny Deila as a substitute against Dundee in April, 2015.
He took over from Emilio Izaguirre the following season and made the position his own before he couldn’t resist the lure of a big-money transfer to the Premier League.
Lennon paid £3million to Rapid Vienna for Boli Bongoli, but there is no future for the bungling Belgian after his coronavrius indiscretions following secret break in high-risk Spain in August.
He has spent most of this season o loan in Turkey, but his temporary transfer expires in summer and he is due to return.
Uruguyan World Cup No.3 Diego Laxalt was brought in to challenge Greg Taylor for the position, but he is likely to go back to AC Milan at the end of the campaign when his contract runs out.
Tierney’s Scotland team-mate Taylor is now enjoying a run in the first team and will be given the nod when Aberdeen visit on Wednesday.