Arsenal agreed a five-year deal with Nuno Tavares so how much will he be paid and what’s his injury history like?

15th January 2021 Dragao Stadium, Porto, Portugal - Portuguese Championship 2020/2021, FC Porto versus Benfica - Nuno Tavares of Benfica. Photo: Daniel Castro
15th January 2021 Dragao Stadium, Porto, Portugal – Portuguese Championship 2020/2021, FC Porto versus Benfica – Nuno Tavares of Benfica. Photo: Daniel Castro

Nuno Tavares fee and value

According to transfermarkt, Nuno Tavares is valued at £6.3m and had three years left on his Benfica contract. Benfica, however, wanted between €15m and €17m for the 21-year-old left back.

That’s around £12.8m and £14.6m, so at least double his market value.

Arsenal agreed a fee of €8m with Benfica plus €2,5m in add-ons across three clauses:

  • Tavares picks up a senior Portugal cap
  • Tavares make a set, but unspecified, number of appearances for Arsenal
  • Arsenal qualify for the Champions League

Nuno Tavares shirt number

Nuno Tavares, Copyright: Nuno Guimaraes
Nuno Tavares, Copyright: Nuno Guimaraes

Tavares wore the number 71 at Benfica which is, quite frankly, a ridiculous number for a footballer to be wearing.

He wore that number for four seasons out of eight, so he clearly has some sort of attachment to it, returning to it after first wearing it in the 18/19 season. 71 was the number he was given when first promoted to the Benfica B team, after wearing the 14 with their u19s. He then kept it when he moved into the first team, but switched to 5 when playing for the u19s.

71 was, clearly, available at Arsenal and has never adorned the back of any Arsenal player. So, Tavares would have gone in to the history books as the first, and most likely only, player to ever wear that number. Thankfully, somebody seems to have talked some sense into the lad and he will wear the number 20 at Arsenal.

Nuno Tavares injury history

Still only 21, Tavares seems to have come through life in the first team relatively unscathed. He missed eight games through injury last season, although one of those ‘injuries’ was actually Covid that keep him out for three games.  Neither of his other two injuries (hip then ankle) kept him out longer than 13 days. Interesting, then, to see describe this as him ‘struggling’ with injuries. Five games missed with two problems in only his second season in the top flight isn’t really ‘struggling’ in the way we know it at Arsenal.

Tavares made 25 appearances last season, averaging around 52 minutes per match, coming on as a sub in 14 of his 25 games. He was also on the bench for 13 other games in which he did not take part, so he was in the match day squad for 38 games out of Benfica’s 53.

To compare, Emile Smith Rowe was only involved in three more match day squads than Tavares, and I haven’t heard anyone say he had a season full of struggles – and he missed nine games in total through injury, with one ruling him out for 43 days.

In his first season in the Benfica first team, Tavares played in 24 games, scoring two and assisting six.

Nuno Tavares contract

Arsenal and Nuno Tavares have reportedly agreed a five year deal. Given his age, this would fit with the new deals Arsenal have given out recently, which seem to fit the following pattern (with obvious room for exceptions):

  • Under 25 – 5 years
  • 25 – 29 – 4 years
  • 30+ – 3 years

A recent report from Portugal, however, claim it is a four-year deal with an option for a fifth.

Nuno Tavares wages

Arsenal also seem to be imposing something of a wage structure again after the last few years when they just randomly threw large amounts of cash at whoever wanted it.

As such, age seems to play a role in what you get offered, especially if you are under 23.

At Benfica, Tavares earned £4,900-per-week. Arsenal probably offered five times that.

Looking at his age and similar-aged players Arsenal have signed to new deals recently, Tavares was likely be offered between £20k and £40kpw.

We currently pay William Saliba and, unbelievably, Alex Runarsson £40kpw to do nothing.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Gabriel get £35kpw, Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli both got payrises to £30kpw while Emile Smith Rowe, currently on £20k, will see his salary rise with his new deal, when het gets round to signing it.

Konastinos Mavropanos also earns £25kpw to play for Stuttgart, although who pays most of that is not clear.