Forgotten Arsenal man has already changed his tune after pointed comments and pre-season return

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A forgotten Arsenal man has already spoken about his uncertain future at the club amid a difficult time at the Emirates Stadium so far.

A forgotten Arsenal man in Nuno Tavares is eyeing a fresh opportunity at the Emirates Stadium after a forgettable loan spell with Nottingham Forest. The full-back joined the Gunners in 2021, making 22 league appearances for the club before being shipped out to Marseille for a loan move the following season.

The £8million signing is said to have struggled with homesickness during his early days with Arsenal, and poor form followed. While he did a solid job during his Marseille loan spell, he was not able to replicate it at Forest last season. The 24-year-old made just eight league appearances with the Midlands club, regularly being left out of the squad by Nuno Espirito Santo.

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Needless to say, Forest did not move to sign Tavares permanently, and he is now back with Arsenal for pre-season, hoping to make an impression on Mikel Arteta this summer. He has said of his current situation: “Yes, obviously, I have in mind to return to Arsenal and have a good pre-season. Regardless of what happens in the future, I will always do my best, as I have done in all pre-seasons, to have a place at the club.” Tavares said of his time at Arsenal during his Marseille spell: “I got some interesting stats. In France, football is more physical, faster than in Portugal. It's not as competitive as the Premier League, but I really liked French football for its intensity. It's always different when a club and a coach trust you, bet on you. Igor Tudor is the coach who placed the most trust in me with Jorge Jesus [at Benfica]. "In Marseille I was happy. I felt a bit like I was in Lisbon. The streets, the people, certain places: in many ways, the two cities are similar and I loved Marseille. The Benfica stadium is prettier but the atmosphere is even stronger, more intense at the Velodrome. At Arsenal, I do not know if it was a problem of competition with Kieran Tierney, but for me, that's not even the point. I came to Marseille to finally be able to play in my position.

"When signing with OM, I wanted to have an option to buy, but Arsenal refused. With my agents, we always wanted this purchase option, but Arsenal didn't. Now I'm at OM, and with or without an option (to buy), I'm happy. At Arsenal, I would have probably only played in the cup."

Tierney has since fallen out of favour at Arsenal and could move on this summer. Oleksandr Zinchenko is now being linked with an exit, with Arteta having Jakub Kiwior at his disposal, while he looks set to wrap up a deal for left-sided centre-back Riccardo Calafiori, who could also be used as back-up at left-back.

Tavares is only under contract until 2025, meaning Arsenal will need to make a decision over whether to sell him or give him a new contract this year if they want to avoid losing the defender for free next summer, given Tavares will be free to agree a pre-contract with any club abroad from January.

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