Arsenal legend Michael Thomas has suggested that the potential signing of Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares could give Mikel Arteta the option to move Kieran Tierney into a back three more often next season.
Writing in his column for JustArsenal, the former Gunners midfielder admitted he hadn’t seen much of Tavares play, but has tipped the Portuguese youngster to have a key role in the squad as soon as he joins.
Tavares looks like he could give Arteta more flexibility with his tactics, and Tierney might well relish moving into a more central role as part of a back three.
The Scotland international has played there before and it’s not yet clear what his best position is, though that’s arguably a nice problem for Arteta to have.
“Right now we are expecting the announcement of Nuno Tavares from Benfica,” Thomas wrote for the Arsenal FC blog.
“I don’t know too much about Tavares to be honest, but from what I have seen and heard he’s a very exciting prospect, especially in an attacking sense.
“He is young and I can see him playing more often when Arteta switches to a back 3 and drops Tierney into the 3rd CB. Hopefully he adapts well to the league and tempo of the game.”
Discussing other potential transfer targets for Arsenal, Thomas also spoke highly of the potential additions of Albert Sambi Lokonga and Ben White.
“Another 21 year-old player I haven’t seen a lot of (Lokonga), but he looks to have amazing physical attributes,” Thomas said. “I cannot wait to see his technical abilities and obviously he has been well recommended from an Arsenal great, so the quality must be there for all to see.
“He (Ben White) is definitely ready to start. If as a club you’re spending 50 million on a CB, he is more than likely a player you wish to be in your starting 11.
“He has displayed his qualities the last couple of seasons and is really good with the ball at his feet, which is something Arteta likes. He won’t have to get used to the league, which is also a plus.
“Despite the arrival of Ben White, I still think (William) Saliba will have a career at Arsenal.
“The young boy has had things to deal with in his personal life which is never easy, and for him, going back to his home country and learning his trade whilst in the comfort of his home surroundings will make it easier.
“I do think he could get a shot in the first team but I’m sure Arteta has a plan for him going forward and this will all become more apparent in the near future.”