Arsenal have signed Portugal Under-21 full-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica for £7m ($9.7m).
The 21-year-old, a graduate of Benfica’s youth system, has signed a long-term deal to become the Gunners’ first signing of the summer.
He is currently in quarantine to comply with UK government coronavirus regulations for international travellers, but is expected to link up with his new team-mates for their pre-season training camp in Scotland next week.
What was said?
Speaking about his move, Tavares told Arsenal’s website: “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.”
Asked what sort of player he was, the defender added: “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.”
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said of his new signing: “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 U21s.
“Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with his energy on the left side of the pitch.”
Who is Nuno Tavares?
Born in Lisbon, Nuno Tavares joined Benfica’s academy as a 15-year-old in 2015 before making his debut for the B team three years later.
He broke into the senior Benfica side at the start of the 2019-20 season and went on to make 41 senior appearances in all competitions for the Portuguese giants, scoring once and laying on seven assists.
He has also represented Portugal at youth level, playing with the U18 and U19 sides before making the first of his two appearances for the U21 side in September 2019.
Where will Tavares fit into the Arsenal squad?
Tavares, who will wear the number 20 shirt, will initially operate as a much-needed back-up to first-choice left-back Kieran Tierney.
The Gunners lacked a natural back-up to the Scotland international last season, which saw midfielder Granit Xhaka deployed in that position during the closing weeks of the campaign.
Goal understands a further £1.5m ($2.1m) could be paid to Benfica should certain clauses be met during Tavares’ stay at Emirates Stadium.