Arsenal have announced the signing of Benfica full-back Nuno Tavares for a fee believed to be around the £7m mark, although the fee could rise as high as £8.5m with potential add-ons. Tavares will wear the number 20.
The club have been on the look out for cover for Kieran Tierney (who recently committed himself to a new five-year contract with the club) for a while now, with names such as Ryan Bertrand, Patrick van Aanholt, Josh Doig and Lee Buchanan all flying around in recent weeks.
Though the signing is perhaps not the top-level defender that fans had been dreaming of, Tavares does come highly recommended from his native Portugal.
The signing of Tavares seems to suggest a change in the recruitment drive at Arsenal this summer. Where in previous windows, Arsenal have looked to supplement any young talent with experience (such as the signings of David Luiz, Cédric Soares, Willian, Petr Čech and Pablo Marí), this summer seems to indicate that Arsenal are prioritising youngsters in the beginning of their career rather than those looking to put out to financial pasture.
Not much is known about Tavares in England aside from an…err…worrying video online showing his Alexis Sánchez-esque devotion to canine relations, however, Tavares’ profile is enough to have Arsenal interested.
Tavares is known for his fast-pace, athletic qualities and his ability to cross the ball. Though the youngster is still prone to the occasional error, Tavares is considered to be excellent cover for Tierney, who Arsenal will hope that he learns from.
Although Tavares’ release clause in his contract is believed to be around £75m, this was more to ward off potential suitors, but given the youngster’s precarious form, this was lowered significantly. It was also thought that Tavares would cost around £14m, however, Arsenal seem to have been able to scrounge up a bit of a bargain for themselves, with Benfica reportedly lowering their price as Arsenal were prepared to do a deal so quickly.
Tierney’s new contract and Tavares’ arrival, will likely see Sead Kolašinac’s time in North London come to an end. Tavares marks the first new arrival at the club this summer, with Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga expected to join up in the next two weeks or so and a deal for Ben White is also expected to be concluded soon too.
Tavares will join up with his new teammates over the weekend ahead of Arsenal’s training camp in Scotland, where he is expected to make his first appearances for the club.