Micah Richards was very impressed with the performance of Nuno Tavares on Saturday, as the 21-year-old provided a vital assist for Arsenal.
Nuno Tavares drew a fair bit of criticism after his performance against Liverpool, with his mistake leading to Diogo Jota’s second-half goal.
To many, it was a surprise to see Tavares keeping his place against Newcastle United. With Kieran Tierney available, you would have thought he’d come back in.
A couple of wayward shots drew further criticism from the Arsenal supporters, but Tavares kept going and ended up assisting the team’s opening goal of the game.
Even if his shot selection does need a bit of work, Tavares was a menace to Newcastle throughout the match, with his speed and strength on the ball causing plenty of problems.
Speaking on Match of the Day that evening, former full-back Micah Richards had plenty of praise for the Arsenal summer signing.
“He was one of the best players on the pitch,” Richards said. “Every opportunity he went forward, and he went forward with quality. Krafth had an absolute nightmare against him.
“What is he, 21? From Benfica? He’s confident now, he’s having fun. £8m, he’s keeping out Kieran Tierney who I really love, he’s started the last five games.
“He, today, was brilliant. He really was.”
Tavares remains a very intriguing player. His raw ability and physicality gives him a high ceiling, but he certainly has areas of his game to iron out as well.
The Portugal u21 international’s decision-making can be a bit erratic, but in a way that’s a positive, as it makes him so unpredictable.
It’s certainly going to be interesting to see who Mikel Arteta picks at left-back for the next couple of games.