Last season, when Arsenal were without Kieran Tierney, a world of problems followed but this season, the arrival of Nuno Tavares has made a massive difference.
Nuno Tavares stepped in for his first Premier League start against Aston Villa on Friday and impressed everyone watching with his pace, passion and general ability to not be crap.
It was a refreshing change from seeing Sead Kolasinac having to step in.
With Tierney suffering a bruised ankle in training before the Villa game and Mikel Arteta unable to say when he will return, we will likely see Tavares line-up against Leeds in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night and, because of that, Mikel Arteta has been speaking about him again.
He started by talking about Tavares’ composure.
“That’s something that we really liked about Nuno when we were looking at him, and credit to Edu and the scouting department when they were doing the process because that is something that we have discussed a lot because we want a certain character to play for Arsenal,” Arteta told Arsenal Media.
“To deal with that pressure, to be able to perform straight away when you are needed and to go from not playing to playing straight away, and to have this capacity to do what he did. So credit to the boy.
“One of the biggest qualities he has is that he is not fazed at all when is playing. He was not fazed to make a debut like he did, the risks that he takes, the actions that he puts in place.
“Plus what you can see, his physicality, he is naturally a very gifted athlete. He can run and he can change speed and direction, and technically he is very gifted.
“But for me the most important thing is that he is a defender and he needs to defend first, and then he can provide the rest of his qualities.”