Tavares joined Arsenal from Benfica last summer and was supposed to stand in as a deputy for first-choice left-back Kieran Tierney. However, the Portuguese struggled to make an impact and it was evident he had a lot to improve on, before he could be deemed ‘good enough’ for the Gunners.
With Oleksandr Zinchenko also arriving from Manchester City, it would mean Tavares would drop even further down the pecking order at the Emirates.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has already raised concerns about his squad being too large and categorically stated that there will be outgoings before the transfer window ends.
“We have a large squad so we have to make some decisions as well on the players that we’re not going to be using consistently and be fair and straight with them,” Arteta said during the club’s pre-season tour of the United States.
“That’s a process that is going to start very soon as well.”
“We have to [move players on],’ the Spaniard added. ‘We have a big squad and now we have to make things happen.”
Brighton and Atalanta had earlier showed interest in Tavares but it appears both sides will now miss out on the 22-year-old. The Portuguese initially turned down a move to France but it appears that would be his short-term destination afterall.
As per Fabrizio Romano, Tavares is set to complete a season-long loan to Marseille and will undergo his medical with the Ligue 1 giants on Friday.
Speaking about the loan deal in particular, Arsenal have made sure not to include a buy-option as they still value Tavares a valuable prospect for the future, with the hope that he can mature and improve on his game in France.
Marseille will also cover Tavares’ full salary for the duration of his loan stint.
Even without Zinchenko in the mix, Tavares would have found gametime hard to come by but the acquisition of the Ukraine star now means a stern competition for the left-back role.
From an Arsenal standpoint, there would have been no room for the Portuguese in the coming campaign and it makes sense to send him out on loan, where he boasts a good chance of securing regular minutes.
Marseille as his choice of destination will also mean Tavares gets to play Champions League football. What a lucky lad indeed! It is also very important that Arsenal made sure to avoid a buy-option in the deal, as the Portuguese still has the potential to mature and develop into a fine modern-day left back.
To sum it all up, Arsenal still as many exits as possible to free up some space in the squad and Tavares’ departure is probably the first of many that we could witness over the coming week.