Unai Emery’s Aston Villa have been advised against signing Nottingham Forest target Nuno Tavares from Premier League rivals Arsenal.
Tavares endured a difficult debut season for Arsenal as he was exposed during the 2021/22 campaign as Mikel Arteta’s side ended up missing out on the Champions League.
The left-back was sent out on loan to Ligue Un outfit Marseille last term. He was operated in a more advanced role during the 2022/23 campaign but he was outed by a French journalist as an “unreliable” player with “so many shortcomings”.
Oleksandr Zinchenko, Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu are currently ahead of Tavares in the pecking order at the moment and it is believed that his time at Arsenal is coming to an end.
Tavares is – according to Italian outlet TuttoMercatoWeb – valued at £21m by Arsenal and he was targeted by Nottingham Forest earlier this summer.
Aston Villa have now joined the race to sign Tavares as they look for a potential alternative to Sevilla star Marcos Acuna.
But French football expert Jonathan Johson has warned the Villans that Tavares is “more questionable defensively” than their other left-back targets.
“As a Villa fan myself, I am a bit wary of stories about Nuno Tavares being a target. Unai Emery has made it clear since day one that the wide options available to him were not ideal so Lucas Digne and Matty Cash have both been up against it to impress,” Johnson told Caught Offside.
“Alex Moreno came in and then got injured and that has heightened the need for reinforcement hence the interest in Marcos Acuna who is Emery and Monchi’s preference.
“As we saw on loan at Marseille last season, Tavares is great going forward but even more questionable defensively than Villa’s current and proposed options.
“Should something happen, it would likely be because the pursuit of Acuna has been compromised. Sevilla are unhappy with Monchi and those wounds are still fresh as he pursues a player he has expert knowledge of.
“Should Villa move for Tavares before this summer window closes, he would bring as many problems and solutions in my honest opinion.”
Villa hammered Hibernian 5-0 in their Europa Conference League qualifier earlier this week and Emery stated post-match that they would “have had problems” if they were not “serious” about the game.
“If we weren’t competitive and serious we could have had problems,” Emery said.
“We spoke before the match about how we had to respect the opponents and be focused and consistent in our game plan.
“We knew if we weren’t we could have lost. We were focused and disciplined and consistent for 90 minutes. That is the mentality I want to create here.”