Arsenal sign Benfica defender Tavares

Arsenal have signed Portugal U21 defender Nuno Tavares from Benfica.

The 21-year-old, who is the Gunners’ first signing of the summer in a deal reportedly worth around £8m, will join up with his team-mates in north London once he has completed his isolation period.

Tavares came through the Benfica youth system and has made a total of 25 appearances for the club since making his first-team debut in the Portuguese Super Cup win over Sporting Lisbon in August 2019.

“When I finished the season my agent told me that Arsenal were interested in me,” Tavares told the club’s official website.

“In the first instance I was very happy and after this I dreamed about it, and [spoke about it] with my mum. I was so excited to be here, and now I’m here I’m so happy.

“I’m so excited because it is a big club and for me as a young guy, it is a pleasure to be here.

“Mikel [Arteta] and Edu helped me so much. They speak with me every time, and call me and I feel people want me here. I like that because I need this power and I’m so grateful for this.”

“We welcome Nuno to the club,” Arsenal manager Arteta said.

“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 U21s.

Arsenal manager Mikel Artet (L) and Director of Football Edu (R) unveil new signing Nuno Tavares at London Colney on July 10, 2021 in St Albans, England.
Nuno Travares (c) with Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta (l) and technical director Edu

“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.”

Technical director Edu said: “Nuno is a talented young player who was wanted by a number of clubs across Europe.

“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.”

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