Mikel Arteta was quizzed on which option was the first-choice for the left-back role, and the Arsenal boss couldn’t answer.
Kieran Tierney has been missing with injury in recent weeks, leaving Nuno Tavares to make the role his own, and the latter has thoroughly impressed given the chance. The club has won each of the five matches in which the Portuguese has started so far.
Nuno seemingly got the nod over his Scottish counterpart this weekend to take on Watford, but the reality is that KT had only just returned to training with the team late into the week, and was unlikely back to 100% when the decision was made.
The manager was asked if Tavares was now his number one for the left-back role following the win on Sunday, but Arteta refused to give a straight answer.
“Well, Nuno is playing because he deserves to play,” Arteta was quoted by Arsenal.com as stating after the final whistle yesterday. “He’s been exceptional in all the performances where he has been given the opportunity. But I cannot say anything different with Kieran, Kieran has been superb for us. Kieran has been injured, he came back two days ago to do his first full training session.
“This is what we need – two top players that are raising the level in their position – and I’m happy with that.”
I think it would be extremely hard to believe that Nuno has overthrown Tierney, who is not just an exceptional player, but a leader within the team, but you cannot fault Tavares for what he has shown, and he looks to be a star in the making also.
Does Tavares deserve to keep his role ahead of Tierney after the international break assuming both return fit and ready?