Arsenal have confirmed the arrival of left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica, with the fee believed to be around the £8m mark.
Head coach Mikel Arteta has been keen to bolster his options on the left-hand side of defence following Kieran Tierney’s injury-plagued first two seasons with the Gunners, and Tavares’ arrival gives the Spaniard another natural alternative.
Since joining from Celtic in 2019, Tierney has endured several spells on the sidelines – forcing Arteta to shuffle his pack and deploy Granit Xhaka, and occasionally Bukayo Saka, out of position in order to fill the void.
The Swiss international performed admirably in the role, but with a move to Roma looming, Arteta has moved swiftly to source a capable reinforcement.
Talks have been ongoing between Benfica and Arsenal for a number of weeks, and the club have now taken to their official website to confirm the arrival of Tavares on a long-term deal.
“Nuno Tavares has joined us from Benfica on a long-term contract,” Arsenal’s statement began. “The 21-year-old defender developed through the Benfica youth system, making his Benfica B debut in October 2018, before progressing into the first team squad. He made his first-team debut in the Portuguese Super Cup win over Sporting Lisbon in August 2019.”
Arteta also took the chance to welcome Tavares, expressing his delight at having secured the signing of a player he considers to have “great promise”.
“We welcome Nuno to the club,” the Spaniard said. “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.”
The Portugal Under-21 international passed a medical in Lisbon recently, though confirmation of his signing was delayed as he was forced to endure a period of isolation after arriving in London.
There has been no official confirmation over the length of Tavares’ contract, but it’s been widely reported that he’s penned a four-year deal with the option of an additional fifth. Similarly, the club have yet to release any information regarding the fee they have paid Benfica – but it’s understood the figure will be around €8m (£6.8m) with €2m (£1.7m) in add-ons.