Arsenal news: Pundit can't believe Arteta could start youngster v Brighton after Nuno Tavares reveal
Noel Whelan has tipped Mikel Arteta to keep faith in Nuno Tavares at Arsenal despite his shocker against Crystal Palace on Monday.
The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Gunners cannot rely on youth or makeshift options to cover at left-back in Kieran Tierney’s absence.
Speaking at his press conference today (8 April), Arteta revealed he had spoken to Tavares, 22, to help with his confidence after hooking him at halftime against Palace.
The Spanish boss admitted the Portugal under-21 international’s confidence has not been “the best” due to a lack of minutes and “rhythm” this term.
With Arsenal back in action against Brighton tomorrow (9 April), Whelan insisted the Gunners need to keep faith instead of chopping and changing.
Asked if he thought Arteta could turn to youth to cover at left-back against the Seagulls, Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Tavares, I think you’ve got to go with him.
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“I don’t think there are any other choices, really, that you would actually put your hand in the basket and pull out at this stage of the season when you’re vying for a Champions League spot.
“If you ask Mikel Arteta, Kieran Tierney and Tomiyasu are your first-choice full-backs. Absolutely no doubt about it.
“When they’re in the side, there’s a real solid unit about them. Not just at the back but going forward as well. The two of them like to get forward.”
Tavares has played 21 times across all competitions this season for Arsenal.
However, his appearance against Palace was his first league start since early December.