FORMER Chelsea, Everton and Scotland winger Pat Nevin believes that former Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney is the best defender and claims the 24-year-old can go on to become the best player in the world.

Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is also keen on the Arsenal star and is reported to be ready to lure Tierney to the Bernabeu this summer. Nevin is convinced that the player would take any such move in his stride.

“If he did join Real Madrid then I’m convinced he would have no problem fitting in there: he wouldn’t need time to settle or adjust,” he said. “Kieran’s good enough to join any club in the world and hit the ground running.

“Andy Robertson is a fabulous full-back so I’m not criticising him in any way when I say that Kieran is the better all-round player of the two.

“It’s probably the first time since Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Souness in the 1980s when we’ve had two Scots capable of playing for the best teams around.”

Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is reportedly considering making Tierney his club captain and improving his contract in an attempt to fend off unwanted attention from elsewhere but Nevin believes that silverware will be more important to him than silver.

“Once you’ve reached the level he’s attained then money doesn’t come into it: he’ll get at least as much as Arsenal can offer him if he moves somewhere else,” he claimed.

“For him, it’ll all be about what he can win from now on. He’s the main reason that Arsenal are a top-four team right now. Martin Odegaard and Bukayo Saka have had great seasons but Kieran is their Player of the Year by a mile and the fans love him.

“Personally, I think Manchester City would be the perfect club for him. They have a brilliant squad but are a bit short in two positions – left-back and centre-forward – and Pep Guardiola is a serial winner.

“He spent £100m to sign Tony Grealish from Aston Villa so he’d easily be able to meet Arsenal’s price. Plus, if they finally win the Champions League this season then how do you strengthen the best team in Europe? Signing Kieran would be a good start.

“I tried to get Chelsea to buy him four years ago but they didn’t listen and ended up signing Ben Chilwell from Leicester City for twice as much as Kieran would have cost them.”

Whether or not he remains at the Emirates, Nevin is convinced that Tierney can only improve in the years to come.

“He hasn’t peaked yet, which is quite frightening,” he said. “When I first met him he was a confident boy but he’s subsequently gone beyond that to have this total and utter belief in himself and you can see it by the way he carries himself on the pitch: you just think: ‘He’s got it.’

“Kieran is already one of the best footballers on the planet. He’s more than comfortable in the Premier League, which means he could play anywhere.

“I genuinely believe he can go on to win the Ballon d’Or. Only one defender – Fabio Cannavarro, who captained the Italian World Cup-winning side in 2006 – has ever won that prize but it’s not impossible for KT to emulate him.

“For that to come about, three things need to happen. First, he has to be playing for one of the biggest clubs and winning trophies. Secondly, he has to avoid being around at the same time as geniuses like Maradona or Lionel Messi or goal machines like Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Finally, he has to offer something different and the way he’s combining his attacking instincts with intelligence in that centre-back role means that’s already happening.”