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EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal legend Dixon praises Tierney and Bellerin but admits defensive duo 'have a lot to learn'

PUBLISHED: 16:22 01 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:24 01 November 2019

Arsenal's Kieran Tierney (left) and Hector Bellerin after the UEFA Europa League Group F match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: John Walton/PA

Arsenal's Kieran Tierney (left) and Hector Bellerin after the UEFA Europa League Group F match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture: John Walton/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal legend Lee Dixon was full of praise for full-backs Kieran Tierney and Hector Bellerin, but admitted the pair still 'have a lot to learn' defensively.

Lee Dixon of Arsenal during their UEFA Champions' League football match against AIK Solna, at Wembley. Final score 3-0. Picture: Tom Hevezi/PALee Dixon of Arsenal during their UEFA Champions' League football match against AIK Solna, at Wembley. Final score 3-0. Picture: Tom Hevezi/PA

The duo have seen limited action this season as they continue their returns from injury, but both are expect to become key players for Gunners boss Unai Emery.

Dixon is a big fan of the pair, and even sees similarities between Tierney and former teammate Nigel Winterburn.

Speaking exclusively to Islington Gazette Arsenal reporter Dan Mountney, Dixon said: "I've seen him before when he was at Celtic and I like him.

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"I think he's got a brilliant attitude, he's very Nigel Winterburn in that respect, he's got a real grit about him.

"Whether he goes on to be anything like Nigel Winterburn in terms of how good a defender he is remains to be seen because he needs to be tested, needs to be playing every week and he certainly has all the attributes to be a top defender.

"The trouble is, he's in a team that is struggling defensively and giving away a lot of chances.

"Bellerin is the same, he's a really good athlete, he's going to be a really good footballer long-term.

Dixon thinks the pair still have a lot to learn though, adding: "They've still got a huge amount to learn positionally and playing in a defence you've got to get the consistency of not giving chances away.

"You've got to get that in your locker of being able to say, 'we don't give away many chances' both as a four and those in front of them, but at the moment they aren't getting much protection."

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