Premier League • England

Exclusive: ‘Very unlikely’ goal machine plays for Arsenal again, with major drawback to prompt healthy profit in summer sale

Arsenal trio Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and Nuno Tavares

Arsenal trio Eddie Nketiah, Folarin Balogun and Nuno Tavares

In an exclusive interview with Ben Jacobs, TEAMtalk has learned Arsenal are primed to make a healthy profit on a player Mikel Arteta has a key concern over.

Nuno Tavares was an £8m signing from Benfica back in the summer of 2021. The Portuguese struggled to adapt in his maiden season in England and was duly loaned out to Marseille for the 2022-23 campaign.

Tavares has been a revelation while operating at left wing-back for the French giant. Indeed, he’s notched six goals in 22 Ligue 1 matches and his exploits have helped push Marseille up into second place.

Tavares previously admitted he’d pushed for an option to buy to be included in his loan deal with Marseille. Clearly, he’s a player who wouldn’t mind leaving north London for good.

Now, in a TEAMtalk exclusive interview with reporter Ben Jacobs, we’ve learned that one way or another, Tavares is unlikely to turn out for the Gunners again.

“Very unlikely” Tavares plays for Arsenal again – Jacobs

“With Tavares I think it’s very unlikely that he’ll play for Arsenal again,” said Jacobs. “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.”

Key concern to prompt sale

Explaining why Arsenal don’t see a long-term future for Tavares at the Emirates, Jacobs pointed to his defensive frailties.

“When I look at Tavares, I don’t really see him as an Arsenal left back,” continued the reporter. “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.

“So that means that you’ve either if you keep him got to convert him and find a way to change the dynamic, and get the goals and all the great attacking stuff out of him, but without any defensive question marks and that means, either improving on the defensive output, or it means changing the position.

“Whether or not Arsenal have got an appetite for that remains to be seen.”

Marseille switch not a lock

Marseille would be an obvious destination for Tavares to land permanently given how well he’s performing on loan.

However, Jacobs stressed the same concerns Arsenal harbour are shared by Marseille. As such, the French giant aren’t as guaranteed to land Tavares outright as you might expect.

“Interestingly, even Marseille aren’t sure about the player for that very reason,” continued Jacobs.

“They understand what he can bring from an attacking point of view. But they themselves are worried about the defensive output as well.

“So my feeling is that Tavares will go but it’s not guaranteed that Marseille will come in and want to try and make that signing a permanent one, even though he’s basically got a goal in every three or four games that he’s played.”

Jacobs concluded by reiterating his belief Tavares will be sold this summer, though to who remains to be seen.

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