Kieran Tierney has been one of the first names on the Arsenal team-sheet when fit in the last 18 months. Last season was undoubtedly the Scot’s best in an Arsenal shirt to date. Tierney didn’t have much competition for his spot though, especially when Sead Kolasinac went out on loan in January.
However, he would have come straight back into the team if Tavares had had a couple of nervy performances.
But he has certainly done enough to keep Tierney waiting.
Speaking last week, Arteta said Tavares’ ability to not get flustered on the pitch is one of his biggest assets.
“That’s something that we really liked about Nuno when we were looking at him, and credit to Edu and the scouting department when they were doing the process because that is something that we have discussed a lot because we want a certain character to play for Arsenal,” Arteta said.
“To deal with that pressure, to be able to perform straight away when you are needed and to go from not playing to playing straight away, and to have this capacity to do what he did. So credit to the boy.
“One of the biggest qualities he has is that he is not fazed at all when is playing. He was not fazed to make a debut like he did, the risks that he takes, the actions that he puts in place.
“Plus what you can see, his physicality, he is naturally a very gifted athlete. He can run and he can change speed and direction, and technically he is very gifted.
“But for me the most important thing is that he is a defender and he needs to defend first, and then he can provide the rest of his qualities.”