Former Premier League forward Noel Whelan believes Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta should start Nuno Tavares against Brighton & Hove Albion in the Premier League.
The Portuguese left-back had a torrid night in their 3-0 defeat against Crystal Palace on Monday, 4 April. He was even subbed off at half-time in favor of Gabriel Martinelli.
However, Whelan believes Arteta should show confidence in the 22-year-old in their clash against Brighton on Saturday.
The Gunners’ first-choice left-back Kieran Tierney is out for the season after picking up a knee injury during the international break with Scotland. Hence, they don’t have many options for the position.
Speaking to Football Insider about their left-back options, Whelan said:
“Tavares, I think you’ve got to go with him. 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.”
With both first-choice full-backs injured, Arteta might not have much of a choice but to play Tavares against Brighton.
With the Seagulls losing six of their last seven games, it might even be a good opportunity for the Portuguese to find his confidence back.
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta provides update on Thomas Partey
Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey picked up a muscular injury in their 3-0 defeat to Palace on Monday.
As per Football.London, this is a similar injury to the one he picked up last season in a match against Tottenham Hotspur.
If that is the case, the Ghana international could be out for at least a few weeks. In a press conference ahead of the game against Brighton, Arteta said:
“It is a little bit ambiguous but he has a significant injury. We have to keep assessing him but he’ll be out for some weeks.”
Partey’s injury could be a big loss for Arsenal as the midfielder has formed a solid partnership with Granit Xhaka. He has played 24 games in the Premier League this season, scoring twice and providing one assist.