Defender slammed for familiar flaws – ‘Arsenal are loaning him out because they’re not crazy’
Nuno Tavares may have contributed with three goals for Marseille, but the loanee Arsenal defender is under increasing scrutiny in the south of France.
The arrival of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City this summer marked the end of Tavares at the Emirates. Mikel Arteta paid £32million for the Ukrainian look and immediately allowed Tavares to move on.
Arteta, however, hasn’t sanctioned a permanent sale for the 22-year-old. Instead, Marseille were given the green light on a one-season loan deal. And Arteta hopes Tavares, who signed £8million from Benfica last summer, can develop like William Saliba.
Saliba had a successful spell with OM last season, while he also had loan spells with Nice and Saint-Etienne.
These loans certainly didn’t hurt Saliba. In fact, the 21-year-old is now one of the top names on the squad roster and he already has two goals to his name this season.
If Tavares can come back with something like the improvement shown by Saliba, then Arteta will be delighted. And going forward, the Portuguese starlet has been good.
Three goals from the left winger in the first four games was a good comeback. But the defensive side of his game that Arteta was so concerned about has already been exposed.
Tavares threatened Rennes with a few shots on goal in the first half. But he was then caught defensively as he failed to keep up with his man allowing Rennes to take a 1-0 lead.
It is this defensive fragility that is highlighted in Ligue 1 and Tavares is starting to be criticized.
Stéphane Guy, journalist for RMC Sport, relayed by Marseille heart, said: “We are finding the limits of Alexis Sanchez. He did not play, or little, there were reasons. He will shine here and there it will make us say things, but overall he is not the striker that the supporters imagined at OM.
“It’s like Tavares. We have seen in recent weeks the limits of this player. We also saw his qualities, he has some, but if Arsenal lends him, it’s because he’s not crazy.
Development of Tavares
“What is obvious is that we have an OM Ligue 1 which is at the level, and then there is the Champions League which is another.
“It’s hard to question yourself in the league when you experience Champions League matches as they have experienced again this week. Once out of this Champions League, and it will be fast now, they will find their rhythm in Ligue 1. “
Tavares made 28 appearances last season. But with Kieran Tierney close to returning to full fitness and the arrival of Zinchenko, Arteta was able to let Tavares move on.
“It’s announced that it’s official and for Nuno’s development I think it’s going to be really important,” Arteta said in July.
“Obviously, we recruited Oleks to this position. And we also have Kieran who is two really very good and strong players in this position.
“We think Nuno’s best course was to do it.”
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