By Noel Whelan

16th Sep, 2022 | 12:23pm

Pundit backs Arsenal starlet to explode after new development - 'just like William Saliba'

Noel Whelan has backed Nuno Tavares to return to the first-team fold at Arsenal after a successful start to life on loan at Marseille.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, compared the 22-year-old’s situation to that of William Saliba – who has flourished with the Gunners after several seasons on loan in France.

Tavares has started seven of Marseille’s nine games thus far this season, scoring three goals.

The Portugal Under-21 international claimed the French club’s Player of the Month award for August after his impressive start to life at the Stade Velodrome.

Whelan conceded competition for places is high at the Emirates Stadium but insisted the left-back is “on the right track”.

When asked if Tavares’ performances will be playing on the mind of Mikel Arteta, he told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “Absolutely.

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“He’s shown real professionalism by going out there and putting in performances and scoring goals straight away.

“Arsenal have sent him out to give him the progression he needs and give him the belief and confidence in his own performances. That seems to be coming to fruition.

“The only hope when you send a player out on loan is that he knuckles down, works hard – and comes back to the club in a better place, just like Saliba did.

“He’s got to make the most of it, no matter what club you’re at, in order to come back a better player and force your way into the first team at Arsenal.

“Right now, you can see the plan with Arsenal. Competition for places is high, they’ve spent a lot of money – so he’s on the right track.”

In other news, pundit suggests real reason for Gabriel Jesus axe after Arsenal development.