Arteta refusing to name Tierney as first-choice over ‘exceptional’ Tavares

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 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?


Tags Kieran Tierney Mikel Arteta Nuno Tavares


  1. Are we weaker with Nuno? Doesn’t look like it to me, at the moment, so why shouldn’t he play?
    Agree with Arteta.

  2. I think Teirney will come back in against Liverpool as he more experienced and as had a good rest but that’s to say Tavares is any weaker ,he’s been a breath of fresh air and offers something a little different and would go as far to say he’s better defender from what I’ve witnessed maybe they could both play on the left which is something that should be considered ,what’s great is the back 5 look really solid at ATM .
    It’s a good thing to have 2 solid left backs but I would like to see Tavares move into the middle next to Partey and think he could really shine there .
    Either way it’s a good problem for Arteta to have .

      1. This is what Arteta has always wanted Dem day 1.
        I imagine we are getting closer to it.
        He stated he wanted two quality players in one position because it makes both of them raise their level of performance.
        This was why he wanted Martinez, and why he spent that amount on Ramsdale.
        Next season we’ll have White, Saliba, Gabriel all vying for the spot.
        None of this move White to the midfild shít so Saliba starts.
        City have 4 quality CBs, Chelsea stacked up too, Liverpool have three, it’s all about competition and performance.
        We’ll need all our top players next season. I love the serious competition at the club RN

  3. Based on the team recent display, it would be wrong to have Tavares benched for KT. He shown in the three games he’s played that he is as good as Tierney or even more than. So, Arteta must be wise here and being wise is by him sticking to the winning team.

  4. Exactly if he’s performing well how can you drop him! Taveres will be better suited to deal with salah in my opinion!

  5. I think Tierney should come in against Liverpool..
    I wouldn’t want what happened to Balogun at Brentford to happen to Tavares, he might be skinned against Salah and we’ll all say his not ready..

    To avoid all that KT start, whether he performs well or not no one will take much note.. Am just concerned about the after effect of our young Portuguese who’s still learning

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