Nuno Tavares will not be heading to Atalanta on loan this season, per Michele Criscitiello of Sportitalia. The Serie A side reportedly wanted a buy option, presumably a low one. Arsenal insisted on a dry loan. The Portuguese left back has also been linked with a move to Marseille but that rumor has cooled off recently.
That Arsenal are insisting on a dry loan indicates they think Tavares has a future at the club, despite his up-and-down performances in his first season in North London. Good.
He still has plenty of work to do on his game, but he has the tools to be an impact player from LB. His explosiveness and pace, coupled with his willingness to take on defenders and run with the ball, creates the good kind of havoc. Right now, he also creates a bit too much of the bad kind of havoc with simple mistakes, but he can iron out those kinks.
Hopefully the Gunners can work out a loan deal for him this season because playing is the best way for him to develop. Atalanta would have been an excellent landing spot, too. Nuno’s skillset would have fit well in their system that encourages wingbacks to bomb forward and get involved in the attack.
Staying at Arsenal wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, either. The Gunners should have enough matches that Tavares will play meaningful minutes. And with Kieran Tierney’s injury history, even with Alex Zinchenko in the fold, I’m not sure Arsenal can have enough left backs at the club. Okay, maybe five left backs would be too many.