Mikel Arteta has spoken about Nuno Tavares amidst the questions over his Arsenal selection this weekend.
The Portuguese returned to the starting line-up after Kieran Tierney succumbed to injury last week, but he was only given 45 minutes before being replaced by Gabriel Martinelli, with Nuno playing a part in both of Crystal Palace’s goals in that half.
There is now much debate about whether he will get to continue in the absence of the injured Scot, with many lacking confidence in him given that he failed to get through more than 45 minutes in either of his two most recent starts before being hauled off (for good reason), but Arteta claims he the youngster is ready to play.
Mikel told Arsenal Media: “Throughout your career you have to go through difficult moments, and he’s had some really good periods since he arrived at the club and he was playing many more minutes than he was probably expecting. That’s the life of a player, especially at that age. There’s ups and downs and we are here to try and help him and make his career better, and that’s what we’re going to do.
“He is ready and he is willing, and he will be disappointed, but it’s part of the job and we have to make decisions to try to win football matches. There is nothing personal there.”
It is unclear whether Arteta is saying that Tavares ‘will be disappointed’ with his previous performance, or is saying that he will not be happy to find that he is not being given the chance to start in against Brighton, and while I feel it would be a slight risk to play him again, our options are rather limited.
If he could find the form he had from his outings in 2021, he could well be a positive for our push to qualify for the Champions League, but I feel like his defensive weaknesses have been exposed now and that leaves us at risk, and would be looking at alternatives for the role.