Nuno Tavares is ‘excited’ and ‘happy’ to be on loan at Marseille and admits the chance to play in the Champions League attracted him after a chaotic debut.

Marseille's Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares controls the ball during the friendly football match between Olympique de Marseille (OM) and AC Milan at the Orange Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France, on July 31, 2022. (Photo by SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Marseille’s Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares controls the ball during the friendly football match between Olympique de Marseille (OM) and AC Milan at the Orange Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France, on July 31, 2022. (Photo by SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Nuno Tavares endured a chaotic debut for his loan side (more on that below) but then his chaotic nature is exactly the reason Mikel Arteta has sent him to France.

Hopefully, they can focus him in ways Arsenal do not have time for.

Speaking in his first interview since the move was made official, Tavares was clearly excited about the chance to play regularly again.

“I feel very good and very happy to be here,” Tavares said. “And I’m very excited to start.

“Why OM? I think the project will be good for me the way they play. The Champions League attracted me a lot, the fans too.

“It was very important for me to be here.

“A few months ago, I received a lot of messages from supporters on Instagram and my agent told me that OM were interested in me.

“So today I’m very excited to be part of the group and I’m really looking forward to starting as soon as possible.”

Chances, skills, red-card overturn: Nuno Tavares’ chaotic debut

Nuno Tavares had a dramatic debut with Marseille against AC Milan, impressing supporters despite an early red-card scare.

Marseille's Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares controls the ball during the friendly football match between Olympique de Marseille (OM) and AC Milan at the Orange Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France, on July 31, 2022. (Photo by SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP via Getty Images)
Marseille’s Portuguese defender Nuno Tavares controls the ball during the friendly football match between Olympique de Marseille (OM) and AC Milan at the Orange Velodrome Stadium in Marseille, southern France, on July 31, 2022. (Photo by SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Soon after completing his loan transfer to Marseille, Arsenal’s Nuno Tavares got the opportunity to come on for the second half of their weekend friendly against AC Milan.

Marseille were already 2-0 down at the time, so it was always going to be an uphill battle for Tavares. But he brought his usual level of chaos to proceedings.

Within seconds of coming on, Tavares created a good opportunity for Arkadiusz Milik, whose shot was deflected into the keeper’s arms.

Just seconds after that, the left-back looked to be cutting his debut extremely short as he was sent off. The Arsenal man had brought down a Milan attacker and the referee judged it was a clear goalscoring opportunity, hence a red card.

Fortunately, VAR was in operation and spotted that the attacker was offside when the ball was played. Tavares escaped without punishment.

The Arsenal man went on to create another great chance and pull off an impressive piece of skill as the highlights in a solid debut half overall.

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JULY 16: Nuno Tavares #20 of Arsenal in action during a preseason friendly against the Evertonat M&T Bank Stadium on July 16, 2022 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND: Nuno Tavares with Arsenal in action during a preseason friendly against Everton at M&T Bank Stadium on July 16, 2022. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Tavares’ performance wasn’t enough to help Marseille turn their 2-0 deficit around, though he at least managed to help prevent them from conceding any further goals.

We’ll find out whether it was enough to get him into their competitive starting lineup when Marseille face Reims in the opening game of the Ligue 1 season this Sunday.

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