MOTHERWELL boss Stephen Robinson praised Kieran Tierney and admitted he would have paid £25million for the defender who left Celtic for Arsenal before Thursday’s English transfer deadline.

The Fir Park gaffer, preparing his players for the midday kick-off for the visit of the champions, would have had no hesitation in splashing the cash – if he had been in a position to do so.

Robinson, speaking to the Evening Times, said: “I’m not surprised by the fee involved because when you see the money that some players are going for down in England, the Scottish league is undervalued.

“That’s usually through ignorance, because people have maybe seen one game in 10 years.

“It doesn’t surprise me the value of Kieran Tierney in any way, shape or form. If I had £25million then I would pay £25million for him.

“I think the Scottish game is very much on the up and I think we’ve got true value for one of the top players in the league.

“Kieran Tierney is a top, top talent and he has terrorised us many times, unfortunately, but people are starting to recognise there is quality here.

“There are good players, good managers, we are technically very aware, and the profile of the game has been raised by Sky and BT Sport.

“Teams have to be strong. We’re obviously not in Celtic’s position to be as strong as that, but you have to try and get true value for your players.”

However, Robinson does not believe the record-breaking departure of Tierney will hand the Fir Park team any advantage in this afternoon’s confrontation.

He added: “Kieran wasn’t playing recently, anyway, but he’s obviously a top, top talent and he’s signed for one of the top clubs in the English Premier League.

“He’ll obviously be a loss for Celtic, but they have new signings in and they have done really well in the European qualifiers. So, I don’t think it will have any effect on them at all in the short-term.”

Tierney only played nine first team games for the Parkhead side after the turn of the year as he toild to overcome a persistent injury problem that forced him to have a double hernia operation in the summer.

Jonny Hayes and Emilio Izaguirre deputised for the 22-year-old Scotland international and the Irishman was in the No.3 position when Neil Lennon’s men beat Hearts 2-1 in the Scottish Cup Final at Hampden on May 25 as the team sealed an unprecedented treble treble.

Boli Bolingoli, bought for £3million from Rapid Vienna in the summer, is likely to be at left-back against Well.

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