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Arsenal could have one other William Saliba already after Edu nailed transfer negotiations | Football | Sport

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Eyebrows were raised last summer when Arsenal loaned William Saliba out to Marseille, though it has proved a clever decision because the defender has been immense thus far this season. And Mikel Arteta will likely be hoping that he has repeated that trick, with Nuno Tavares now impressing with the French side.

Saliba has taken to life within the Premier League like a duck to water, together with his confidence and maturity sparking a major improvement in the general Arsenal defence. The Frenchman has also been a presence in the ultimate third too, scoring one and assisting one other in his 4 appearances.

It is not any secret that Saliba’s spell within the Ligue 1 has actually aided his development, and a full season of first-team football has allowed him to rework into the defender that Gunners fans are seeing today. So when Tavares was asked who he’s taking inspiration from when talking to Marseille’s in-house media after penning a loan deal, his response of ‘Saliba’ was actually the correct one.

The 22-year-old struggled to impress on his debut campaign on the Emirates Stadium, together with his defensive work causing issues and leading Mikel Arteta to drop the previous Benfica star – playing midfielder Granit Xhaka as a makeshift left-back as an alternative. Nonetheless, Tavares is impressing on loan with Marseille and will return to Arsenal as a modified player.

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Arteta was keen for the Portugal Under-21 international to spend the season elsewhere and proceed his development, but with the intention of bringing him back into the fold after that. Gunners technical director Edu negotiated such a deal, refusing to insert a buyout clause into the loan deal.

Tavares has scored three goals in 4 appearances for Igor Tudor’s side thus far this season, making use of his freedom to drive forward within the left wing-back role. The defender’s value is definite to soar if he continues this good form through to the top of the season, especially if he shows marked improvement in his defensive work.

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