Arsenal: First fixtures of 2021/22 Premier League season
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Arsenal have completed the first signing of the summer, bringing in left-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica. The 21-year-old cost the Gunners a reported £6.8m and he will add some much-needed depth to Mikel Arteta’s squad.
Prior to Tavares’ arrival, Kieran Tierney was the only recognised senior left-back Arsenal had on their books and his injury struggles have forced the likes of Granit Xhaka, Cedric Soares and Bukayo Saka to fill in.
Tavares will now act as back-up to Tierney and the youngster is particularly looking forward to playing alongside two Gunners stars.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Tavares named Saka and Emile Smith Rowe as the two current players who have impressed him the most.
Tavares also revealed he is a big fan of Arsenal’s leading goalscorer Thierry Henry.
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“In the present I like [Emile Smith Rowe], because he is my generation,” Tavares said.
“He’s played against us, on the same side – he played on the right, I played on the left – for the selection [youth] team.
“He’s a good player, and I see Saka too. Young players, good players.
“From the past I like Henry. A very good player, and it’s good for me to remember that story.
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“You have a good project,” he added. “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.”
Tavares also outlined what fans can expect from him, saying: “I am fast, I am good at shooting with my right foot, but I’m left-footed.
“I can dribble, improvising. That’s my qualities, my technique. I have more qualities and I will find more in this club.
“I’m so excited because it is a big club and for me as a young guy, it is a pleasure to be here.
“When I finished the season my agent told me that Arsenal were interested in me.
“In the first instance I was very happy and after this I dreamed about it, and [spoke about it] with my mum. I was so excited to be here, and now I’m here I’m so happy.
“Mikel and Edu helped me so much. They speak with me every time, and call me and I feel people want me here. I like that because I need this power and I’m so grateful for this.”
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