Micah Richards praises ‘excellent’ Arsenal summer signing after win over Newcastle

Micah Richards heaps praise on Nuno Tavares following his impressive performance for Arsenal against Newcastle United

Mikel Arteta
Mikel Arteta (Photo: Arsenal Media)

Nuno Tavares earned special praise from Micah Richards following his performance in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday.

The 21-year-old has been settling into life at The Emirates after having signed for the Gunners from Benfica in the summer transfer window.

Tavares has been a regular fixture at left-back for the north London side while Kieran Tierney has been out of action, with the Portuguese star having made nine appearances for the Gunners in the Premier League so far.

The full-back has made 12 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners this term and he notched up the assist for Bukayo Saka’s opener against Newcastle United at the weekend.

Former Manchester City star Richards was highly impressed by Tavares’ performance on Saturday and warned Tierney that he is facing a significant challenge to win back his place in the starting line-up.

Speaking on Match of the Day, as quoted by Metro, Richards said of Tavares: “He was excellent and I’m not just doing it because he’s a full-back. He was one of the best players on the pitch.

“What I liked about him was he just didn’t stay, every opportunity he went forward and he went forward with quality.

“This is what I am seeing with the modern day full-back, look at his position here [picture shows Tavares in a central position] this is where you would find a normally a midfielder and us full backs from back in the day wouldn’t know what to do there.

“But look at the awareness from him to play Saka in… What is he 21? From Benfica, little chop here, he’s confident now, he’s having fun. £8m, he’s keeping out Kieran Tierney who I really love.

“He’s started the last five games and everything he did in his game today was just quality. He today was brilliant, he really was.”

Arsenal’s win over Newcastle United moved them level on points with fourth-placed West Ham United, who sit above the Gunners on goal difference heading into the hectic festive period.

The Gunners are next in action when they face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Thursday night in the Premier League.

Former Manchester United star Paul Scholes is convinced that Cristiano Ronaldo will be given a starting spot against the Gunners after he began Sunday’s draw with Chelsea FC on the bench.

Asked what United should do differently against Arsenal following the 1-1 draw at Chelsea FC on Sunday, Scholes told Premier League Productions: “Play a centre forward for a start.

“Cristiano will play. The two wide players will probably play. Possibly play two midfield players instead of three of them, be more attacking.

“Arsenal are nowhere near the quality of Chelsea, nowhere near Liverpool, City.”

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