JOHN BARNES has cooled the hype surrounding Arsenal and Scotland defender Kieran Tierney. 

The former Celtic full-back starred for the Gunners after football returned in England following the coronavirus crisis and he quickly became a fan favourite at the Emirates due to a number of battling performances on the pitch. 

Barnes admits that Tierney has impressed, but he still thinks that he has a lot to prove. 

He explained: “There’s no doubt Kieran Tierney is a very good player but he hasn’t played at his best this season - far from.  

“Yes there’s been injuries along the way but also, being a new signing and not getting enough air time could quite easily knock your confidence - especially in a club such as Arsenal.   

“And for some players it takes a little bit longer to get in with the team. Liverpool had Firmino who took time as did Andy Robertson and Jordan Henderson.  

“None of them are bad players, far from, but they all took a while to find their place and environment.  

“And I think Tierney has now finally found an environment where he can show what he can do but he's got to keep on doing that over and over again; if he can remain consistent throughout the next season, he’ll be great.” 

Some Arsenal fans have labelled Tierney a future Arsenal captain, but Barnes reckons it is too soon to make that call. 

He added: “Well it's a bit early to say that because first of all, he hasn’t played enough this season.  

“It’s also important for these young players to be able to grow and mature with a club without the pressure of becoming the next captain.  

“In fact, that pressure could become overwhelming which then has a negative impact on that player’s performance. And it has to do with the personality of the player - just because you’re a good player doesn’t mean you’ll be a good captain.    

“I think Tierney will do really well at Arsenal and if he continues to develop and perform then, at some point, he may be able to wear that armband, but it’s too early to speculate on that now.”  

John Barnes was speaking to