Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta must act on Nuno Tavares’ poor form before it is too late in their quest for Champions League football. Tavares could become the club’s next Emmanuel Eboue if he is not taken out of the firing line.
The Portugal full-back joined Arsenal last summer and initially started his spell at the club okay. He even kept Kieran Tierney out of the team for a number of matches in November after the Scotland star returned from injury.
But 2022 has not been a good year for Tavares so far. He was dragged off during the first half of the FA Cup third-round loss to Nottingham Forest in January.
He was then taken off at half-time of his first Premier League start in over four months against Crystal Palace in early April. Tavares scored his first goal for the club in the 3-1 win over Manchester United last week but also gave away a penalty and was poor defensively.
It’s not just his defensive positioning that lets Tavares down. His passing is poor and often leaves his team in the mire, especially when he has ventured forward.
Arteta doesn’t have many other options at left-back but Cedric Soares is an alternative. Takehiro Tomiyasu started against West Ham after his injury lay-off and Arteta said in his pre-match press conference that the Japan star could even play at left-back, with Cedric potentially then filling in on the right. However, Tomiyasu limped off in the second half which could be a concern.
Leeds are the visitors to the Emirates next weekend. With Raphinha likely to start on the right, Arteta must make a change in that position.
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