Arsenal outcast told he ‘could play for Real Madrid or Barcelona’ as Arteta prepares for summer sale

Lewis Oldham
Arsenal man Tavares

Arsenal outcast Nuno Tavares has surprisingly been told that he is capable of playing for Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester City.

The Gunners paid around £8m to sign the defender from Benfica in 2021. He featured prominently for the Premier League side last term but he was unable to impress in the absence of Kieran Tierney, who missed most of the season due to his injury woes.

Tavares was regularly criticised as a result of his poor defending and he was sent out on loan to Marseille ahead of this season.

The Portugal international has often played further forward in Ligue 1 but the media in French have outed him as an “unreliable” player with “many shortcomings”.

But Marseille’s manager – Igor Tudor – has lauded the Arsenal man even though he “still needs to grow”.

Tudor has even boldly suggested that Tavares is capable of playing for some of the best teams in the world.

“He’s still a young player. He’s got fantastic physical capacities. He’s got an outstanding ability to run. He could play at Real Madrid, at Barcelona, at Manchester City… He still needs to grow and progress, we talk a lot to him,” Tudor said.

“He’s been very important to us this season. He’s scored a few goals, which isn’t that common at his position. What’s important is the way we finish the season. He can change games when he’s in form.”

Earlier this month, journalist Ben Jacobs indicated that Tavares is “very unlikely” to play for Arsenal again. 

“With Tavares, I think it’s very unlikely that he’ll play for Arsenal again,” Jacobs told TEAMtalk. “That’s just a positional kind of thing.

“Zinchenko, Tierney, at the moment, is still there, Tomiyasu there, as well.

“And the thing with Tavares is that Arsenal can probably, if not definitely get a profit off him because he’s only 23 years of age and the fee that Arsenal paid in 2021 for Tavares was only £8m.

“That means that if they do choose to sell him, they’ll be able to cash in and make a tidy profit, which will reflect well on their books, on Financial Fair Play and provide an opportunity to clear some squad space in order to no doubt bolster in other positions.”

He added: “When I look at Tavares, I don’t really see him as an Arsenal left back. What’s interesting about the Marseille spell at the moment, where he’s on loan, is that he’s scoring goals.

“Arsenal’s concern, in my view, is around those defensive qualities, whereas what he’s showing at Marseille is that he can be very enterprising from an attacking point of view.”

READ MORE: Top 10 greatest Premier League goalscorers of all time before Haaland smashes them all