Arsenal's summer has been full of excitement in several ways.

Mikel Arteta has concluded some outstanding business in the transfer market, welcoming Kai Havertz and Jurrien TImber to the club, on top of club-record signing Declan Rice.

The goals have also been flowing having scored ten across two games with the MLS All Stars and now Barcelona.

Scoring five against the former was hardly seen as an achievement given the quality of the opposition but to do so against the LaLiga champions was a statement of intent.

Who was Arsenal's best player against Barcelona?

As there were against the All Stars, several players stood out. Leandro Trossard was once again the true hero of the evening, adding to his wonderful goal in that previous clash with two more versus Barca.

Fabio Vieira was another to make a statement to Arteta in that win, scoring a late goal from the substitutes bench.

Having missed a penalty in the bizarre post-game shoot-out against Manchester United, this was a confidence booster for a player who has been criticised considerably by sections of the fanbase.

It is unlikely the Portuguese will feature too often in the early parts of the season but this was a moment that helped stake his claim.

Another to do so was Kieran Tierney, a player under the microscope over the summer.

Is Kieran Tierney leaving Arsenal?

After starting just six times in the Premier League last term due to both injuries and the form of Oleksandr Zinchenko, it looked as though the Scot would take his leave once the window opened.

The likes of Newcastle and Aston Villa have both registered interest and indeed it may well be that he still leaves before September 1st.


Yet, on the evidence of his performances throughout pre-season, the left-back deserves to stay and fight for his place.

After Zinchenko's arrival and displays as an inverted full-back, many forgot just how good Tierney was. Remember, this is a player who not too long ago boasted the side's biggest threat. Indeed, in 2020/21, only 17% more full-backs in the division attempted more crosses while he sat inside the best 1% of positionally similar players for take-ons that led to a goal.

Yet, his form has severely dwindled in recent years, so much so that he ranked only in the best 38% of full-backs in the Premier League for crosses last season and the worst 45% for take-ons that led to a goal.

Against Barcelona, in particular, he demonstrated the sort of form that once saw him rank in the top 1%.

How did Kieran Tierney play against Barcelona?

The £110k-per-week earner was only on the field for 20 minutes but during his brief outing, assisted Trossard's second of the game.

Tierney burst forward and from a more central position than he is perhaps typically used to, fired the ball into the box for the Belgian to find the net.

Tierney vs Barca-1

Although the defender may well find it a challenge to play in the inverted role that Zinchenko has made his own, his ability in the final third can never be questioned.

Galivanting forward at any opportunity, the Scotland international still represents a fabulous option and ahead of the new season, has well and truly played himself back into contention for a starting berth.

He was assured in his passing against Barca, ending his time on the field with a 100% success rate while there was a sternness in defending, winning 100% of his duels as he stopped Ousmane Dembele in his tracks on the left.

Whether or not Tierney does start against Nottingham Forest on the opening weekend is up for debate, but he has surely done all he can to make a point to the manager. The haters have well and truly been defied.