July 10, (THEWILL) – English Premier League club Arsenal picked up their transfer business on Saturday with the confirmation of acquiring full-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica on a long-term contract into the Emirates for in North London.
Tavares moves from the Primeira Liga side to the top tier of English football after making 25 appearances for the Portuguese club. The highly-rated defender made his debut in a Portuguese Super Cup win over Sporting Lisbon in August 2019.
The 21-year-old is said to have cost the Gunners about £8 million to bring him into the Arsenal squad where he will be a backup to and competition against left-back Kieran Tierney, who himself signed a new long-term contract last month.
Arsenal’s Technical Director, Edu, is working with team manager Mikel Arteta to strengthen the squad ahead of the 2021/2022 season to avoid the embarrassment of the last campaign. Edu said of the player: “Nuno is a talented young player who was wanted by a number of clubs across Europe.
“He will provide strong back-up in the left-back position. We look forward to him growing and developing with us and becoming an important member of the first-team squad.”
Arteta also had some compliments to share about Tavares: “We welcome Nuno to the club. He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s.
“Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch. We look forward to Nuno’s arrival soon, his integration into the Arsenal family and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.”
On his part, Tavares expressed his joy about the move when speaking with Arsenal’s website: “I’m so excited because it is a big club and for me as a young guy, it is a pleasure to be here.
“When I finished the season my agent told me that Arsenal were interested in me. In the first instance I was very happy and after this I dreamed about it, and [spoke about it] with my mum. I was so excited to be here, and now I’m here I’m so happy.”
Describing his play, Tavares was not hesitant: “I am fast, I am good at shooting with my right foot, but I’m left-footed. I can dribble, improvising. That’s my qualities, my technique. I have more qualities and I will find more in this club.”
In 2015, the Lisbon-born Tavares joined the football Academy at Benfica when he was 15. Three years later, he debuted for the B team. It was not until two seasons ago that he broke into the senior Benfica side. In that 2019-20 campaign, Tavares featured 41 times in all competitions for the Portuguese giants, with a lone goal and seven assists to his credit.
The young Portuguese has also represented Portugal at youth level football. He played at the Under-18 and Under-19 levels and in September 2019, he began to play for the Under-21 team.