2 apps in 2022, axed by manager, exit talk – Arsenal defender has uncertain future [Opinion]

Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium by Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Nuno Tavares only joined Arsenal in July 2021 but already has an uncertain future in North London after struggling for consistency in his debut season. The 22-year-old was a regular upon his arrival from Benfica but has since fallen down the pecking order under Mikel Arteta.

Tavares was playing second-fiddle to Kieran Tierney, but Mikel Arteta has preferred Granit Xhaka at left-back over the Portuguese U21 international. The writing may be on the wall if a defensive-midfielder gets the nod in a makeshift role because of a manager’s lack of trust in the deputy.

Tavares has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal this season, grabbing two assists. He’s featured just twice in the Premier League since the turn of the year, amassing only 46 minutes of football, spending most of his time as an unused substitute.

The 22-year-old’s first start in four months resulted in him being substituted at half-time as Arsenal suffered a 3-0 defeat to Crystal Palace. Arteta hasn’t been impressed with what Tavares has shown and there’s talk of his time at the Emirates already being up.

Some reports suggest Tavares might be on his way out of Arsenal if he doesn’t play again before the season comes to a close. With Tierney out for the rest of the campaign due to injury, the uncapped Portuguese defender should replace him in the side.

But if Tavares remains out of the starting eleven, he may have to cut his time short with the Gunners. The reality is that Tierney will be a regular at left-back next season when fit and Tavares isn’t being considered as the No.2 option currently, so might he have to leave this summer to get first-team football?

Arsenal sent seven players out on loan this season, so they’re not afraid of moving a player on temporarily while their future in North London remains up in the air. This might be an option for Tavares if the club don’t want to sell him just one year into his stint.