Arsenal have completed their first signing of the summer by agreeing a deal with Benfica for Nuno Tavares. The deal is worth £6.8m, with an additional £1.5m in add-ons for the Portuguese player, who will join the pre-season training after completing his quarantine.
Tavares will wear the number 20 shirt at Arsenal, and provide competition for Kieran Tierney. Speaking to Arsenal’s official website on the signing, Mikel Arteta said “We welcome Nuno to the club. He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s.”
“Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch.”
“We look forward to Nuno’s arrival soon, his integration into the Arsenal family and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.”
Tavares revealed his admiration for young Arsenal players like Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, and expressed his excitement to join the Gunners. He added “It’s good for my career and to begin at Arsenal is a big club, and I’m very happy. (It’s) a good project.”
“Young people, it’s good for me and we learn together, because we can understand together and we can have an evolution together with the young guys. It’s the same. It’s a good project with young guys and we understand each other.”
“In the present I like (Emile Smith Rowe), because he is my generation. He’s played against us, on the same side – he played on the right, I played on the left – for the (youth) team. He’s a good player, and I see Saka too.”
“Young players, good players. And from the past I like (Thierry) Henry. A very good player, and it’s good for me to remember that story.”
Arsenal technical director Edu Gaspar revealed that Tavares was wanted by several top clubs of Europe. He added “Nuno is a talented young player who was wanted by a number of clubs across Europe. He will provide strong back-up in the left-back position.“
“We look forward to him growing and developing with us and becoming an important member of the first-team squad.”
Source: Daily Mail.