Real Sociedad summer signing Kieran Tierney learning Basque as “sign of respect” to club and teammates

Real Sociedad had a busy summer transfer window, and one of those to join the club was left-back Kieran Tierney. The Scottish international signed on a season-long loan deal from Arsenal so that he could play regular first team football.

Tierney made his debut during La Real’s victory over Granada last weekend, and speaking to the Scottish Sun (via GlasgowLive), he admitted that he was very nervous ahead of the match.

“I’m buzzing to have played my first La Liga game. My family’s really proud of me, that’s what matters. I need match fitness and I wanted to play longer. But it’s understandable I was taken off in the second half. I’ve not started a competitive game for about four months.

“I was nervous before the game. It’s a new beginning. New country, new language, new club, new teammates, new league. But it provided everything I wanted. I’ve always wanted to play abroad.”

Tierney also spoke of his appreciation at the faith shown in him by La Real.

“Real Sociedad is a very proud club in a passionate Basque region. They don’t tend to sign many foreign players, historically they’ve had mainly players from the area. So it’s an incredible show of faith. It’s an honour and a pleasure for me to play for Real Sociedad and all I want to do is repay the manager and everyone else at the club.”

One of the biggest challenges for Tierney over the new few months will be the language barrier, although he has revealed that he is currently learning to speak both Spanish and Basque in order to effectively communicate with his teammates.

“I’m trying to embrace everything here, the culture, the language. Learning the language as best I can is very important. It’s about showing respect to everyone. The club have provided a tutor and while I’m with Scotland I’ll be having Zoom lessons. I’ve got Spanish and Basque to learn. I’m loving it.”

Tierney is sure to be an important player for Real Sociedad this season. He had a promising debut against Granada, and he should only get better as he acclimatises to Spanish football.