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Mikel Arteta: I know Crystal Palace hook hurt Nuno Tavares but now he has to react

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta spoke to Nuno Tavares after hanging him at half-time against Crystal Palace and urged the full-back to bounce back from his struggling form.

Nuno has only started two games since the start of the year and on both occasions he hasn’t exceeded 45 minutes of action.

The 22-year-old, however, impressed earlier in the season and Arteta encouraged him to learn from this tough time now.

Nuno could get plenty of playing time before the end of the campaign as fellow left-back Kieran Tierney will be out for the rest of the season after undergoing knee surgery.

“Obviously I speak with the players and I spoke with Nuno because I care a lot about how they feel and we are here to help them and improve their careers,” Arteta said.

“It was a decision that hurt him, obviously, but he understands it was in the interest of the team, that I believe it was in the interest of the team, and he respects that. .

“Now he has to react to this situation because it’s a great opportunity to learn a lot at this time in your career.”

Tierney’s surgery on Thursday night was a success, but he is still not expected to return until the end of the club’s season.

Arsenal F.C. via Getty Images

He could, however, be back for Scotland’s semi-final World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in June.

“I don’t know yet, he just had surgery yesterday,” Arteta said.

“So it’s very early to understand how everything is going to evolve, he’s going to be out for the period that we estimate but to know what state he will be in after that period, I think it’s too early to be able to say anything.

“I think the player has to do the maximum he can to be in the best possible condition as quickly as possible.

“I’m sure Kieran will and once he’s there let’s see if he’s able to compete and with what kind of risk or not, but I’m sure he will.

“Our responsibility is to take care of them when we have them here.

“Once they go to a national team in those cases it’s Steve Clarke’s job and responsibility to decide on a team that he believes is the best to win games and we have to try to have good communications with the national teams, which we have, but these things happen.


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William

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