Mikel Arteta was really impressed with Nuno Tavares on the full-back’s full Premier League debut, praising the 21-year-old’s courage.
Joining Arsenal in the summer, Nuno Tavares had to wait a few months for his first start in the Premier League.
The left-back played 90 minutes in the League Cup wins over West Bromwich Albion and AFC Wimbledon, but Kieran Tierney has an understandable stranglehold over the Premier League starts.
With Tierney out injured on Friday night, it was an opportunity for Tavares to show what he can do in a league game. Mikel Arteta was very pleased with what he saw.
“It was really impressive, what those two (Tavares and Lokonga) did, especially Nuno,” Arteta said. “It was the first start in the Premier League, to play with the courage, with the physicality, with the quality that he did today, it’s a credit to the boy.”
Tavares supported the Arsenal attacks really well and made one big chance on top of his three efforts at goal, but he also got back well and made three clearances and two tackles.
It’s hard to say how much more we’ll see of the former Benfica man over the coming weeks, given we don’t yet know the extent of Kieran Tierney’s injury issue. But the good thing is that Tavares is making a Tierney absence seem that much less daunting.
That’s exactly why Arsenal needed to bring the left-back in this summer, so credit to the recruitment team for getting it right.