Nuno Tavares says he’s excited to join Arsenal’s youthful first team squad and is looking forward to growing as a player under Mikel Arteta.
Signed for around €8 million from Benfica, the 21-year-old left-back will initially provide back-up to Kieran Tierney with Sead Kolasinac expected to leave.
Asked about his decision to swap Lisbon for London, he told Arsenal.com (in English): “When I finished the season my agent told me that Arsenal were interested in me.
“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.
“It’s because you have a good project. Young people, it’s good for me and we learn together, because we can understand together and we can have an evolution together with the young guys. It’s the same. It’s a good project with young guys and we understand each other.”
Having faced Arsenal in last season’s Europa League, Tavares is no stranger to Arsenal’s squad.
Speaking about those he admires, he added: “In the present I like [Emile Smith Rowe], because he is my generation. He’s played against us, on the same side – he played on the right, I played on the left – for the selection (youth) team.
“He’s a good player, and I see Saka too. Young players, good players. And from the past I like Henry. A very good player, and it’s good for me to remember that story.”
Tavares will join pre-season in the coming days and is expected to be part of the squad that travels to Scotland for a training camp and friendlies with Hibernian and Rangers.
According to various reports, Arsenal are also edging closer to a deal with Anderlecht for midfielder Albert Lokonga.
The Gunners have been working on a deal for the Belgium international for a number of weeks and it sounds as though he’s now undertaken his medical.
Lokonga looks likely to be a replacement for Granit Xhaka who is due to move to AS Roma, assuming the Italians stop being tight arses and make a bid worth our while.