Mikel Arteta explains what the most important thing is about 'very gifted' player
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has raved about the character of Nuno Tavares during an interview with the club’s official website.
The 21-year-old signed for the club in the summer and has been waiting patiently for a chance.
A golden opportunity came on Friday night when he was handed the chance to start against Aston Villa.
The Gunners won the game 3-1 and the left-back showcased his quality with an energetic performance.
With Arsenal playing Leeds in the Carabao Cup later, the former Benfica man will hope to keep his place in the team.
Tavares played 90 minutes of both previous rounds of the cup and it remains to be seen whether he gets the nod tonight.
Arteta has been raving about the youngster in the build-up to the game, praising his performances since coming into the club.
He told the club’s official website: “One of his biggest qualities he has is that he’s not fazed at all when he 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.
“You can see his physicality, he is naturally a very gifted athlete. He can run and he can change speed and direction. Technically he is very gifted.
“The most important thing is that he is a defender and he needs to defend first. Then he can prove the rest of his qualities.”
Future star: Tavares could prove quality Arsenal signing
The Gunners parted with just shy of £7 million to sign Tavares and he already looks like strong value for money.
He has come into the club knowing that Kieran Tierney is the first choice left-back, although crucially he was ready when called upon.
Arsenal have been criticised for some of their dealings in recent times. With Tavares, however, he looks like a very shrewd signing and one that could represent value for money.
In the short-term he might remain a peripheral figure, with other players naturally ahead of him in the pecking order.
All he can do, however, is continue taking his opportunities when they do come to give him the best chance of playing more football.