Following the acquisition of Gonzalo Montiel from Sevilla, Nottingham Forest have now reached an agreement with Arsenal for a loan deal with an option to buy for Nuno Tavares, effectively transforming their full-back options this summer and with this article we aim to analyze the impact he can have at City Ground.
Pic 1: Tavares Returned to Arsenal this summer after a largely successful Loan spell with Marseille
Nuno Tavares – the Story So Far
Pic 2: Nuno Tavares Signing for Arsenal in 2021
Tavares was regarded as a huge talent back in Portugal around 2020 and it was always assumed that he would eventually take the step from Benfica, despite him yet to nail down the first team place there, which came in the form of a £8M move to Arsenal ahead of 2021/22 season after the Portuguese impressed Mikel & his backroom staff when they faced Benfica in Europa League prior to the summer.
And As Arsenal evolved over the 2021/22 season, Arteta’s needs for a more of an inversion capable left-back led to their pursuit of Oleksandr Zinchenko from Man City and in turn led to Nuno Tavares to search for game time in form of a loan to Marseille where he made 39 Appearances and scoring six goals and impressing everyone again with his offensive hold, this in-turn led for better market opportunities opening for him…
Understanding Nuno’s Profile
Nuno Tavares played as a Left Wingback in Igor Tudor’s 3-4-2-1 system and as such wouldn’t find himself out of place in a back 3 system that Nottingham Forest themselves employ, this was the same background with which Montiel’s signing from Sevilla was concluded, ensuring that tactical continuity is there for Nuno slot to settle quickly.
Pic 4,5 and 6: Tavares Playing on the right against PSG
It’s not only left where he can be used though, he provides depth on the right as well. As shown in the pictures above, Tavares best quality can be that he could be an option on right with his pace and skills when needed, an option that Tudor explored against PSG, which is something Steve Cooper would probably experiment with IF such situation arises. His ability to exploit space behind backlines either to square off to his teammates or making those far post runs which got him 6 goals (do notice the goals scored in Pic 2’s 2nd graph at top right)
Combined with his initial experience in back 4, either early in his career in Benfica or at Arsenal, tactically Tavares offers a guarantee that would be appreciated by those who plan Forest’s Future.
Nuno Tavares vs Neco Williams Comparison: An Upgrade over Williams??
The discussion of whether Tavares proves an upgrade would mostly be squashed if everything goes as planned as statistically it would be easily proved that Tavares managed to put up numbers vastly superior to Neco and Tavares’s previous experience in Premier League with Arsenal and Champions League experience with Marseille wouldn’t bring to question whether he can adapt to the English conditions and play at a top level.
It’s another reason why it made a lot of sense for Forest to pursue Tavares as an option late in the window.
Nuno Tavares to Nottingham Forest – Conclusion
Whether Arsenal could have got a better deal will be a debatable topic to say the least, but for Forest, they couldn’t have done any better to get this deal through and surely represents a good signing for Forest. With this signing, it provides much hope that Nottingham Forest can push amongst the top 10 and if luck prevails, their squad are dark horses to make a conference league push.