Arsenal have made their first signing of the summer after completing a deal to sign Nuno Tavares from Benfica.
The Gunners had been on the look out for a left back this summer after spending the second half of last season without an orthodox back up to Kieran Tierney following Sead Kolasinac‘s January loan move to Schalke.
They settled on the Portuguese defender who was spotted at Lisbon airport ahead of a plane journey to London to seal the move.
And now having completed his period of self-isolation the 21-year-old has become Arsenal’s first signing of the summer in a deal that could be worth up to €10m.
It is that price tag as well as many other factors that means Tavares ticks the boxes of the profile of left back the Gunners were interested in this summer.
As someone who has only made 41 senior appearances in his club career so far the Portuguese defender would be willing to be understudy to Tierney.
Having been born in January 2000 he is also young enough to qualify as an under-21 player under Premier League rules, meaning that he will not take up a non-homegrown squad place in Arsenal’s 25-man group for the coming season.
The Gunners are hopeful of being able to include Tavares in their travelling party who head up to Scotland for pre-season friendlies against Hibernian and Rangers next week.
The transfer was celebrated by Edu who admitted that he is delighted the Gunners had got their man.
“Nuno is a talented young player who was wanted by a number of clubs across Europe,” he said. “He will provide strong back-up in the left-back position.
“We look forward to him growing and developing with us and becoming an important member of the first-team squad.”
These thoughts were echoed by Mikel Arteta who revealed the Portugal under-21 international would be integrated into the squad as soon as possible.
“We welcome Nuno to the club,” said the Spaniard. “He is a young player with great promise who has developed very well with Benfica in recent seasons and has also shown his quality by being part of Portugal Under-21s.
“Nuno’s arrival will give the squad extra strength and options in defence, particularly with this energy on the left side of the pitch.
“We look forward to Nuno’s arrival soon, his integration into the Arsenal family and playing in front of our fantastic supporters.”
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The 21-year-old’s arrival is likely to spell the end for Kolasinac who returned to London Colney this week for pre-season training after spending the second half of last season on loan at Schalke.
There were hopes that he could join his boyhood club on a permanent basis this summer, but after their relegation from the Bundesliga they announced that they can no longer afford him.
The Bosnian is instead set to move elsewhere, with clubs in Italy and Turkey interested in him football.london understands.