Newcastle United's surprise 'one that got away' transfer after scouting tip goes unanswered

Newcastle United were tipped off about Scotland and Arsenal defender Kieran Tierney’s star quality more than two years before he signed on the dotted line at the Emirates Stadium.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 7:00 am

Former midfielder and coach Lee Clark has revealed he told a club representative to get then Celtic man Tierney signed up, long before he started making real waves in the Premier League.

Clark, then manager of Kilmarnock, says he made his thoughts on Tierney known to a Newcastle United scout, fresh from seeing his Killie side torn to pieces by the marauding left-sided player.

"Newcastle United are going to have to take a risk on these Scottish lads at some point – I told them about Kieran Tierney when I was manager of Kilmarnock, off the back of him absolutely destroying us as an attacking left-back,” said Clark to podcast NUFC Matters.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Scotland manager Steve Clarke interacts with Kieran Tierney of Scotland as he leaves the field during the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar qualifying match between Scotland and Faroe Islands on March 31, 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“I knew they were represented at the game, so I went straight over to the scout after the game and I said ‘whatever you do, make sure Newcastle United sign him, asap’. The rest is history. That must have been two years before he went to Arsenal.

"Fitness like you wouldn’t believe and he’s got a hammer in both legs because of those quads.”

Tierney signed for Arsenal in August 2019 in a deal worth around £25million.

The 23-year-old has since made 63 appearances for the Gunners, scoring three goals.

A message from the Football Clubs Editor

Our aim is to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative Newcastle United coverage 365 days a year.

This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to, please consider taking out a subscription; sign up here.

Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor