Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reacts as Gunners confirm Nuno Tavares as first summer signing

Transfer update: Guendouzi heads for Arsenal exit as Nuno eyes first signing

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has said that new signing Nuno Tavares will add depth to his defensive options after becoming the club’s first addition of the summer.  

The Gunners confirmed the signing of the Portugal under-21 starlet on Saturday morning but Tavares must first isolate before joining his team-mates in accordance with government guidance. 

Tavares has arrived in a deal believed to be worth around £6.8million and the defender has signed a long-term contract. 

Arteta has struggled for strength at left-back outside of Kieran Tierney and Tavares will be a welcome addition to the Spaniard’s squad.   

Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka and Cedric Soares each had to fill in on the left side of defence whenever Tierney was absent last season.  

Tavares is a speedy full-back who contributes effectively at both ends of the pitch. 

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The 21-year-old managed seven assists and one goal in 41 appearances for Benfica.  

“We welcome Nuno to the club,” Arteta told the club’s official website.  

“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. 

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“We look forward to Nuno’s arrival soon, his integration into the Arsenal family and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.” 

Technical director Edu added that Arsenal had to fend off plenty of competition from across the continent to sign Tavares. 

He said: “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.”

 

Arteta and Edu have so far endured a mixed transfer window and there will likely be a sense of relief over the confirmation of their first signing of the summer.  

They were pipped by Aston Villa to the signing of Norwich City attacker Emiliano Buendia and will struggle to prise transfer target Jack Grealish from the Villans.  

Arsenal are widely believed to also be close to signing Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga. 

Head coach Arteta has planned a big rejuvenation of his ranks this year after overseeing one of the most disappointing campaigns in the club’s recent history. 

 

The North Londoners finished a lowly eighth in the Premier League and failed to qualify for European competition for the first time since 1996. 

A poor defence of their FA Cup success from the previous season ended in a premature fourth-round exit against Southampton. 

Arteta is set to replace several senior stars with key players. Xhaka, Hector Bellerin and Willian have each been linked with moves away.  

Arsenal have reportedly made a third offer for Brighton’s £50m-rated defender Ben White, 23, who is with the England Euro 2020 squad. 

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