Olympique de Marseille is discussing with Arsenal for the arrival of Nuno Tavares this season in Ligue 1. Hope of Portuguese football, the left side did not convince in the Premier League with the Gunners and will seek to revive in France.
A time close to OM, Darko Lazovic should ultimately not join Ligue 1 during the summer transfer window. After this failure for the Serb, the Marseille club reactivated the track leading to Nuno Tavares. If an arrival of the Portuguese defender had first been ruled out, it should finally be completed fairly quickly by the Marseille leaders and president Pablo Longoria.
Failing to have convinced Arsenal to let go of William Saliba again, Marseille will get their hands on a promising but still accessible player. The fault of a struggling 2021-2022 season after his transfer to the Premier League almost a year ago. In addition, OM could achieve a nice coup with a dry loan for a player whose value on the transfer market would rather fluctuate between 15 and 20 million euros.
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A pure left-hander capable of helping out on the right
Aged 22, Nuno Tavares quickly made an impression after his professional debut with Benfica Lisbon. After a brief stint on the side of the Portuguese D2 with the reserve, the Portuguese chained the matches in the elite. A wise commentator on the Lusitanian championship for RMC Sport, Kevin Diaz recalled the impression left by the young side when he started during the 2019-2020 season.
“I had commented on his first match with Benfica Lisbon. He had returned to right-back when he is a left-hander. He can play on both sides, said the member of Dream Team RMC Sport during a stint in the club. “After Foot this week. He played a bit on the right at first and then on the left. And that’s where he developed the most with Arsenal.”
If on the right OM can count on rookie Jonathan Clauss and Pol Lirola at the piston station, on the left wing Nuno Tavares has a real card to play. In addition to Jordan Amavi, who did not convince during his loan to Nice, and Sead Kolasinac far from being indisputable, the Portuguese should quickly be established by Igor Tudor in Ligue 1. And once he has had his chance in the 3-4-1-2 of the technician, charge at the international U21 (8 selections) to settle in the long term.
An athletic and fast profile
In just 41 games in Portugal with the Benfica first team, Nuno Tavares convinced Arsenal to invest eight million euros to afford him during the summer of 2021. With a not indisputable Kieran Tierney, the Portuguese clearly had a shot to try among Londoners. Capable of producing a lot of effort, thanks to an above average physical capacity, the full-back is supposed to bring a real impact to his team. By recruiting him in Marseille, Igor Tudor may have found the generous soldier he wanted in Darko Lazovic.
“He doesn’t really have side measurements since he is very tall. It’s a bit like Nordi Mukiele, the consultant RMC Sport further analyzed. He is very fast and very powerful.”
And Kevin Diaz added: “He has a technique, like any Portuguese player trained in one of the biggest training clubs in the world, quite correct. He goes fast, he has a rather good left foot. He is quite versatile. “
“He can confuse speed and haste”
On paper, the qualities of Nuno Tavares should have allowed him to do wonders in the Premier League. Promised for a bright future with the Gunners, where he had a shot to play despite competition from Kieran Tierney, the Portuguese failed to make himself indispensable. Aligned by Mikel Arteta during the first months, the side was satisfied with a single assist. And after two consecutive defeats against Manchester United and Everton, in mid-December, his coach sent him to polish the sidelines. The fault, in particular, with a mediocre defensive impact and an offensive contribution that is too limited.
“He can have a messy side in the last thirty meters. This may be why he did not manage to win Arsenal definitively, warned Kevin Diaz on RMC. He can confuse speed with haste “That is to say that he often manages to make the difference thanks to his technical and above all physical qualities. But in the last gesture it can end up in the stands. Now he is also able to make decisive passes and that is a player still in post-training. He needs to chain the matches.”
A good pick for OM?
Briefly revived by Mikel Arteta at the end of last season, Nuno Tavares took the opportunity to score his first goal in the Premier League. But that was not enough to convince the Arsenal manager to trust him. To sum up, Nuno Tavares is a player with real potential but going through a period of doubt at Arsenal. Relieved of part of the defensive tasks with the three-man defense put in place by Igor Tudor, the Portuguese will be able to regain confidence in his offensive qualities.
“It’s an interesting profile for Olympique de Marseille. It’s a good idea from Pablo Longoria. I wouldn’t say it’s a mandatory success, but it’s a good idea, concluded Kevin Diaz. I know that there is a good relationship between Arsenal and Marseille and therefore they have the last two left-backs of the Gunners with Sead Kolasinac for whom I predicted less success. In any case, Nuno Tavares, it is a good idea.